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Data science and artificial intelligence (AI)

Our healthcare is changing drastically. Data science, AI and the fast digitalization of systems play an increasingly central part and are essential for learning faster in healthcare and to organize healthcare more efficiently. Our vision is that data science will become an integral part of our healthcare, education, and research. To do this, a safe data infrastructure, innovation, implementation, and evaluation are essential. This is why we launched the 'Data Science UMC Utrecht’ program in 2023. In it, we bring data infrastructure, research & development, and AI implementation together (‘3AI’), because it is the synergy between the three that is essential.

Data infrastructure

To benefit from the potential of data and transform it into knowledge, a safe, reliable and simple data infrastructure is essential. This requires a transparent organization, uniform technical solutions, legal frameworks, and clear game rules. But also trust. This we achieve through transparency and supervision of what happens with the data.

Within the healthcare landscape, two parties have been appointed at country level to build data infrastructures. Cumuluz unlocks the data infrastructures for the primary care process. Health-RI does the same for the secondary process: research and education. UMC Utrecht is the regional hub for both initiatives and is responsible for design and implementation with all regional stakeholders and parties. Combining regional data and making it understandable and available is essential here. That is why we set up U-Cloud in 2023, as a regional hub of Health-RI, which we connect to the Cumuluz infrastructure. We are starting with the implementation in 2024.

Research & development

We want to integrate data science and AI in our daily healthcare, research and education. In 2023 we set up a collaborative community and infrastructure between UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University (UU) for this purpose. We also established, equipped and started up five ‘Health AI labs’ within the Utrecht Life Sciences community from where we can run projects. This was partly made possible with the allocation of TKI funds to AI Labs [LINK TO the chapter Our research/TKI subsidies Health Holland].

The five AI labs focus on the following domains: AI Methods , Healthy Living , Imaging and Guided Interventions , Molecular Science, and Living Technologies . In May 2023 the various labs presented themselves to the outside world during an Utrecht AI event and demonstrated the link with the business world among others. Lastly, the Health AI Labs form an integral part of the EWUU Alliance [LINK TO the chapter Our partners / Partners with a nationwide impact/ EWUU Alliance] and various projects were launched from within this collaboration.


In 2023 we worked further on applied data-science initiatives in healthcare , where we make use of artificial intelligence (AI). On the one hand these initiatives reduce the administrative burden of our healthcare professionals, so that they can give more time to patients. On the other hand these are care applications with which we improve the quality of care for patients. Read more about our data-science initiatives in healthcare in the chapter Our patients .