February 2018 | Issue 34

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Latest news from Imperial College London

Big data and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we work and learn. This technological revolution dominated the discussions and presentations at the recent Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference, but should we rush headlong into a future determined by algorithms?

In her recent opinion piece for Times Higher Education (THE), Imperial President Alice Gast argues that we are facing a "watershed moment and for lessons in how universities can best approach it, we should look back in time." Focusing in particular on Asian universities, she noted that Asian governments' commitment to higher education and research and development puts these institutions in pole position. To maintain a lead, she identifies adopting AI and machine analysis to enhance education and understanding as one of three areas to develop. The others are to maintain universities' responsibility of providing students with intellectual ability and confidence to adapt to changing times, and to seek out new and unexpected collaborations to harness the full benefits of all this new information generated in fields such as metabolomics.   

In a short video interview, Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHC) Director Professor Jonathan Weber picks up on some of these themes. Prof Weber, who is also acting Dean of Imperial's Faculty of Medicine outlines his vision and strategy for the Centre, after recently welcoming two new specialist institutes to the fold: The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, a specialist cancer hospital, and the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, which specialises in cardiovascular and respiratory medicine.

This revolution is also top of mind at NTU Singapore, which is charting its course to lead the country in smart campus development. At LKCMedicine too,  growing ties with tertiary care centres and research institutes offer more opportunities to pull together and create unique national data sets to improve the health and lives of Singaporeans.