Department of Veterans Affairs researchers at five medical centers are collaborating on the development of an artificial intelligence algorithm that can accurately predict aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

This new research study, which began on July 1 and has expanded to 14 sites, aims to analyze data from over 5,000 veterans who have been diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer and have undergone initial treatment.

The research team is utilizing diagnostic images such as MRIs and high-resolution scans of prostate biopsies, as well as variables like income and geographic location, to identify patterns that are indicative of aggressive prostate cancer.

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The United States Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters is seen on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by NYNNC)

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the implementation of this technology will not substantially increase costs for facilities.

“No other study has incorporated socioeconomic conditions into a predictive model for high-risk prostate cancer, but we have seen multiple studies that show how these factors affect veterans’ health,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, assistant Under Secretary for Health for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks.

The research investigators are also utilizing cloud storage, computing infrastructure, and databases specific to their programs, such as the Million Veteran Program and the Prostate Cancer Foundation-VA partnership.