U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $420,800 in federal funding to support the research and development of oral disease and disorder technology at the University of Rochester. The funding was allocated through the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and was awarded to the Clinical and Translational Research Core at the University of Rochester’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health. Specifically, this funding will be used to develop groundbreaking artificial intelligence-powered smartphone technology to detect oral diseases in children, therefore increasing access to oral care and saving patients from extraneous time and health care costs.
“It is critical that all New Yorkers have access to quality health and dental care,” said Senator Schumer. “UofR’s research and groundbreaking technology to make dental care more accessible and affordable will greatly improve the health of New York’s residents. Each year, tens of millions of Americans go without the dental care they need, and it is investments like this that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of New Yorkers. I am proud to announce this federal investment and will continue to fight to ensure that all New Yorkers get the care they need.”
“Access to dental care continues to be out of reach for too many children,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The University of Rochester’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health is committed to making dental care available to underserved communities and does incredible work developing innovative solutions to advance oral health. This funding will help deliver life-changing technology that could make premiere dental care a reality for children in every community.”
“Severe tooth decay among more than half the children in underserved communities has resulted in serious harmful effects on health and quality of life,” said Dr. Eli Eliav, director of Eastman Institute for Oral Health. “Our 100-year history of clinical treatment and research on behalf of these young patients, along with the partnership of other University of Rochester experts in computer science and artificial intelligence, primary health care, obstetrics and biostatistics have resulted in these innovative, technology-driven strategies for early detection and prevention. We’re pleased that NIDCR is partnering with us for this first important step and thank Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for their longstanding and continued support for the NIH.”
The University of Rochester’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health received over 400K to develop an AI-powered smartphone app to detect oral disease in children. This premiere dental program serves a majority of Rochester’s low-income population and is committed to improving the integration of basic, translational, and clinical research.