UM Institute for Health Computing Receives State Funds

Gov. Wes Moore signs SB 376 on April 25, 2024, surrounded by UMB President Bruce E. Jarrell and UMCP President Darryll J. Pines, UM-IHC faculty and staff, legislative leaders, and state officials

Published in UMB News | May 8, 2024

Maryland’s 2024 legislative session came to a close in April, and with it came millions of dollars of dedicated funds investing in advancing network medicine, artificial intelligence, and machine learning that will help improve future health outcomes in Maryland. 

The funds, given to the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State (MPower) — a collaboration between the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) — will be used exclusively on the University of Maryland Institute for Health Computing (UM-IHC) initiative. Launched in November 2022, UM-IHC leverages technological advances to create a premier learning health care system that evaluates both de-identified and secure digitized medical health data to improve outcomes for patients across Maryland.   

UMB President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, and UMCP President Darryll Pines, PhD, MS, were in attendance in Annapolis with hundreds of others who flocked to the Maryland State House to celebrate the signing of nearly 300 bills into law. 

“(This bill and funding) give us a great opportunity to work together as two universities and the medical system to use our power in all three institutions to make something good happen in health care,” Jarrell said after the signing. 

Senate Bill 0376, which was signed into law by Gov. Wes Moore on April 25, 2024, requires the governor to include in the budget $1.5 million in Fiscal Year 2026, $3 million in FY 2027, $4.5 million in FY 2028, and $6 million in FY 2029 and after. 

UM-IHC is expected to energize research in the life sciences including applied artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, immersive visualization, real-world evidence and adaptive clinical trials, population health, and therapeutic drug discovery. While driving technological advancement, the goal is to also provide critical mass to Maryland’s technology economy. 

“This is an opportunity to double down on our MPowering the State initiative that was codified in Senate Bill 1052 several years ago,” Pines said. “This is probably the biggest endeavor that will help the citizens of the state of Maryland in terms of their personalized health related to being able to mine medical records and use this enabling technology of AI to help citizens of the state of Maryland.”

This is a chance for these institutions to look at medical records and “really help advance health care diagnosis and prognosis for the future,” Pines added.