Malachowsky Hall opening marks new era for AI-powered health care

On Friday, Nov. 3, a new, seven-story, 263,440-square-foot center that will revolutionize the artificial intelligence (AI) and data science workforce celebrated its grand opening in the heart of campus.  

Front view of Malachowsky Hall
Malachowsky Hall at the UF Campus Friday, Nov. 8.

Now open to the public, the Malachowsky Hall for Data Science & Information Technology will host multiple interdisciplinary collaborators, advance AI education and scholarship, and transform lives on a national scale. The building will also serve as the hub for the Biomedical AI Collaborative, a co-working space that will foster connections between numerous, health-related artificial intelligence researchers from across UF. 

panoramic view of Malachowsky
The building offers multiple co-working spaces to foster interdisciplinary collaboration.

As part of the day’s festivities, IC³ and PRISMA lab director, Azra Bihorac, M.D., MS FCCM, FASN, delivered a presentation on UF College of Medicine AI advancements that had been made possible through the university’s partnership with NVIDIA. In attendance were NVIDIA CEO and co-founder Jensen Huang, as well as co-founder and UF alumnus Chris Malachowksy, for whom the building was named. Also providing words were UF Health president David Nelson, M.D., chair of the department of health outcomes and biomedical informatics Elizabeth Shenkman, Ph.D., and associate dean for AI applications & innovation and professor of anesthesiology & orthopedic surgery Patrick Tighe, M.D., M.S.

“Our ultimate goal is to transform how care is delivered in the clinical setting and beyond,” Bihorac said. “Thanks to our work with NVIDIA, we are able to use the power of AI to realize better health in a better world.”  

Dr. Bihorac presents
Dr. Bihorac delivered remarks to several supporters of Malachowsky Hall, including University of Florida alumnus Herbert Wertheim and his telltale hat.

During the presentation, Bihorac chronicled her journey into AI research beginning in 2016, when she used a NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU) to power an AI-driven surgical care optimization platform as part of a National Institutes of Health grant. Named MySurgeryRisk, the tool augments surgeons’ skills by predicting surgical complications, speeding the decision-making process. 

Other breakthroughs from the collaboration include the DeepSOFA AI system. This real-time, patient illness severity assessment is powered by the HiPerGator, a highly potent supercomputer that runs on NVIDIA GPUs. Similarly, Bihorac described how the Intelligent Hospital project used NVIDIA-driven data collected from patient movement sensors to track pain, agitation and mobility, helping to provide real-time health care recommendations.

Bihorac’s current research on the “Digital Twin of the Intelligent Hospital” was a highlight of her presentation. A virtual replica of an intensive care unit room that is rendered using NVIDIA Omniverse technology, the “digital twin” will provide opportunities for providers to plan and simulate care strategies in the virtual world, as well as optimize real-world health care delivery. 

Looking to the future, Bihorac shared plans for how her team will develop an “AI Passport for Health,” a UF Strategic Initiative selected by President Ben Sasse that will enable health professionals to integrate artificial intelligence into their fields. Two new graduate biomedical AI programs, offered through the UF College of Medicine, will also help Bihorac achieve her goal of graduating the first generation of medical doctors who have a master’s degree in AI. 

“This beautiful Malachowsky Hall will not just be a landmark, but a symbol of the transformative shift that AI will bring to medical education and patient care,” she said. “I look forward to seeing how this space will help foster the development of the future, AI-equipped health care workforce.”