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04/12/2021 Admin

MSK Tech Incubation Team Wins
2021 CIO 100 & FutureEdge 50 Awards

VIOLET, a home-grown proof of concept artificial intelligence system built by the Tech Incubation group within DigITs (Digital Informatics & Technology Solutions) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, has been honored with two prestigious industry awards: an IDG CIO 100 Award and a FutureEdge 50 Award for 2021. This winning system, which stands for Very Intelligent Oncology Language-Enabled Tech, uses voice technology for natural and helpful interactions between people (patients/caregivers/clinicians) and clinical information systems to support cancer care. 

The annual CIO 100 Awards celebrate 100 organizations and the teams that are using IT in innovative ways to deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers. The FutureEdge 50 Awards recognize the most cutting-edge trials and applications of emerging technologies and the innovative cultures enabling them in business today. These awards are an acknowledged mark of enterprise and innovation excellence.

The DigITs Tech Incubation team. Project team members not pictured above include: Megha Dange, Ricardo Dodds, and Divya Gaitonde.

The DigITs Tech Incubation team. Project team members not pictured above include: Megha Dange, Ricardo Dodds, and Divya Gaitonde.

The award-winning VIOLET project was kicked off on September 1, 2020 under the leadership of Daniel Stein, Associate CIO, Tech Incubation. In the time since, the Tech Incubation team created and demoed functional prototypes of VIOLET that have both active and passive voice capabilities for two different use cases. 

The first application, VIOLET Interactive Assistant, uses active voice engagement to assist clinicians and patients in preparing for upcoming visits in the outpatient clinic. These capabilities provide access to key clinical information through a novel and intuitive voice interface for clinicians on the go and for patients and caregivers in their homes. 

The second application, VIOLET Ambient Co-Pilot, uses passive voice technology to assist clinicians and their team during and after telemedicine visits with patients. These passive voice capabilities enable ambient “listening” during clinical encounters that can detect, summarize and visualize key medical concepts discussed and actionable next steps for both the patient and the clinician. 

This project exemplifies Memorial Sloan Kettering’s work to break new ground in cancer care by thinking ahead about how voice technology, which is slowly permeating our everyday lives through consumer tech innovation, could be used effectively by clinicians and their patients as part of the cancer care journey. The proofs of concept that were developed not only demonstrated the “art of the possible” by using innovative voice technology in new and creative ways, but also informed a vision for the future.

MSK is thrilled that the CIO 100 and FutureEdge 50 Awards have recognized VIOLET’s excellence in IT and innovation. The project will be recognized virtually at the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards this summer and the CIO’s Future of Work Summit this fall. In the meantime, congratulations to all involved!

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