How to find local medical AI projects to get involved with

The last several years have seen a huge surge in amount of funding going into, and research papers coming out of, groups working on artificial intelligence in healthcare. Many new research groups are popping up or shifting their focus to AI, and along with this comes many opportunities to get involved in this exciting field.

If you want to get involved with projects but aren’t sure where to start, here are some suggestions:

1. Reach out to the Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) of your local hospital

The CCIOs have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on at the hospital from a medical data point-of-view, and are a great first-point-of-call.

To save you time, below is a template email - feel free to copy it and modify as required:

Dear Dr _____,

I’m a current medical student / (grade) _ doctor at St George’s, with an interest in clinical informatics and data science. I’m the (current position) ___ at the moment, on _____ Ward.

I was wondering if there were any projects going on at the hospital that I may be able to contribute to in the area?

I have some experience coding and working on data science projects, plus academic research and quality improvement projects.

Best wishes,

_____ (name)

If the hospital doesn’t have a CCIO, or they don’t response, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is an appropriate back-up.

2. Identify groups that have published papers and contact them directly

A search on PubMed, Google Scholar or an alternative can help highlight the groups that are publishing papers in medical artificial intelligence, as well as the areas that they are working in.

Each paper has the email of a ‘corresponding author’, who you can reach out to.

Here is an email template - again, feel free to copy, modify, or write your own:

Dear Dr __,

I’m a __(job title) based at __ Hospital with a deep interest in the application of Machine Learning to healthcare and am looking to gain as much experience as possible.

I have __(outline relevant experience and roles), but I want to gain more experience in ML research.

I’ve been reading work done by your lab, such as ____, and I was wondering if there were any current projects that I could contribute to. I have relatively little ML research experience so I’m happy to undertake manual, repetitive tasks if it means that I can be involved in, and learn from, the projects.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this and consider whether I may be able to help. I’ve attached my CV for reference.

Kind regards,

__ (name)

3. Look at the website of nearby universities

Many universities have pages outlining the projects that they have going on. For example, Imperial College London have a page dedicated to healthcare AI research projects.

I hope these suggestions help. If you’re still having difficulty finding a project to get involved with, reach out at: hi@chrislovejoy.me