Learn AI in Kansas: A Guide to Artificial Intelligence Degree Programs & Certificate-Level Training Courses Online & in Kansas

Written by Rebecca Turley

medical research using robotics

Remarkable. It’s the one word that properly describes the advances in medicine being made in Kansas— much of which is rooted in the power of artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence is disrupting medicine in the most awe-inspiring ways imaginable. It’s proven its value in areas like diagnostics and precision medicine and is now behind everything from drug discovery and development to personalized disease treatment.

It’s versatile, it’s powerful, and it’s allowing clinicians to enhance their standard of care by alleviating repetitive, arduous tasks and serving as a reliable and cost-effective partner in patient care. In Kansas, there’s game-changing research to be found at the intersection of artificial intelligence and medicine, with some of the best and brightest minds taking a deep dive into AI’s power to revolutionize the face of healthcare.

For example, the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Program for AI and Research in Cardiovascular Medicine is working to improve outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease. Using big-data analytics, the multidisciplinary team of scientists is developing an AI-powered technology that will reevaluate electrocardiograms (ECGs) in patients with cardiovascular disease and other heart abnormalities.

They’re working off a massive database of clinical ECGs that will be used to train predictive AI algorithms. The database includes more than two million ECGs, 400,000 echocardiograms, 100,000 cardiac nuclear stress studies, 20,000 electrophysiology procedures, and 32,000 cardiac catheterizations. It’s also linked to medical records that detail everything from diagnoses codes to radiology records to medical procedures like atrial fibrillation ablations and aortic valve replacements. This massive data pool will allow the AI-powered diagnostic algorithms to “learn” and provide unparalleled insight when identifying and diagnosing cardiac conditions.

And at the University of Kansas Cancer Center’s Prevention and Control research program, they’re exploring the countless ways in which artificial intelligence can serve as a valuable partner in the lab and clinic.

Dr. Prateek Sharma, a member of the Prevention and Control research program and also the chair of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) AI Task Force, is working with fellow scientists to compare the effectiveness of traditional colonoscopies compared with colonoscopies that are paired with artificial intelligence. Dr. Sharma and the team are exploring whether AI has the ability to better detect flat polyps in the colon, which are harder for doctors to detect than raised polyps. Dr. Sharma also hopes to also expand the use of AI in endoscopies to identify and diagnose esophageal diseases.

From Olathe to Wichita, research in the laboratory is making its way into all areas of business and industry, which presents outstanding opportunities for professionals in artificial intelligence. Whether your career plans lie in engineering, computer science, data analytics, or beyond, there’s never been a better time to explore undergraduate and graduate degree options in Kansas to become part of the fascinating, interdisciplinary AI field.

How AI Is Making Quick Work of Clinical Documentation

vr healthcarePaperwork be damned.

The medical transcription startup Abridge, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is allowing doctors at the University of Kansas Health System to automate their clinical notes and medical conversations using generative AI technology, making quick work of documentation and allowing doctors to focus more of their attention on patient care.

It’s a big deal when considering that providers here spend about 130 minutes every day on documentation. Given the sheer size of the system – more than 1,500 physicians across more than 140 locations – it’s easy to understand how useful this tool can be.

Abridge’s AI tool essentially listens to doctor’s visits and then summarizes the most important parts of the conversation. The technology identifies more than 90 percent of the key points of the conversation and then summarizes it in the appropriate format for both providers and patients. Abridge is a reliable and cost-effective alternative to medical scribes, which are becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to find. It also helps enhance the quality and consistency of clinical notes.

Abridge’s AI technology, which is based on the same architecture behind ChatGPT, is able to create a draft of the clinician-patient conversation in about one minute. It also works alongside electronic health record software to provide doctors with a one-stop documentation tool.

AI Jobs in Kansas

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, job opportunities for professionals in artificial intelligence (categorized as computer information and research scientists) are expected to grow substantially in the coming years. In fact, in the decade leading up to 2030, jobs in this field are projected to increase by 23 percent in the Sunflower State. During this period, the state should see about 10 job openings annually due to a blend of new job creation, retirements, and natural job turnover.

Artificial Intelligence Jobs in Wichita, Lenexa, Olathe, Dearing, and Topeka

Who are AI professionals in Kansas? They’re scientists, machine learning engineers, research analysts, software architects, and much, much more. They hold prominent positions with companies across business and industry, and their work supports exciting AI innovations that are solving problems in everything from manufacturing to finance to healthcare.

AI Companies in Leawood, Kansas City, Olathe, and Wamego

Supported by the exciting research happening in Kansas’ leading universities and by the burgeoning tech market in the Kansas City metro area, AI companies are growing at an impressive clip in Kansas.

For example, in 2021, Torch.AI, an artificial intelligence firm, announced plans to add another 500 jobs to the Kansas City area, thanks to a tax incentive program awarded by the Kansas Department of Commerce. This Leawood-based tech company has plans to boost its tech workforce, with positions like engineers and data scientists leading the charge. Torch.AI uses machine learning to complete mass data processing and projects associated with national security.

27Global, another big name in Leawood, is a software, data, and cloud engineering and IT consulting company that serves a number of industries, including manufacturing, financial services, and software as a service. This growing company was named to the Inc. 5000 in 2021 and 2023 and was named Inc.’s Best Workplace in 2023.

And in Olathe, Garmin International has always proven to be an economic powerhouse. Their AI-powered wearable technology and GPS navigation tools are used in the automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and fitness markets. Garmin boasts 60 locations around the world and 12,000 employees. Its $200 million facility expansion at its Olathe campus a few years ago solidified its long-term commitment in Kansas. Currently, the Olathe campus has about 2,800 employees, with another 600 located in the greater Kansas City metro area.

With all the research being born out of the state’s universities, it’s no surprise that startups are also on the upswing in Kansas. A good example is Bellwethr, with offices in Wamego and Kansas City. This rising startup developed an AI tool that helps companies increase their customer retention. Bellwethr landed some $2.5 million in seed funding to finance growth, and the company has been growing about 10 percent a month since the seed funding was announced.

AI Salary in Kansas

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), AI professionals in Kansas, who fall under the broader BLS category of computer and information research scientists, earned a median salary of $109,600 as of May 2022. Those with little experience earned about $85,850 during this time, while those with extensive experience earned about $168,250.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Master’s Degree and Certificate Courses in Kansas and Online

As the field of AI continues to expand, colleges and universities across the country are introducing undergraduate and graduate degrees to meet the need for talent in areas like computer science, engineering, robotics, data analytics, and more.

Though Kansas colleges and universities are still in the process of developing programs in this field, you’ll find a plethora of offerings elsewhere to meet your needs. And because many of these programs are offered in fully online formats, you’ll be able to secure the degree you’ll need to either enter the field of AI or advance in it.

Bachelor’s degrees in artificial intelligence are usually found in schools of computer science and engineering. These programs feature a strong math foundation that includes courses like linear algebra, probability, and calculus. Typical courses in these programs include data science, data engineering, data mining, machine learning, and foundations of computer science.

Master’s degrees and graduate certificates in artificial intelligence may be found in schools of engineering, computer science, arts and sciences, and even business. These programs allow students to focus on specific areas of the field, so it’s commonplace to find these programs offering focus areas and specialization options. For example, an MS in AI in an engineering department may include options to specialize in biomedical engineering, civil engineering, or mechanical engineering, while an MS in AI in a computer science department may include options to specialize in robotics, cybersecurity, computer vision, or machine learning.

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for computer information and research scientists. Job growth projections from the US Department of Labor-sponsored resource, CareerOneStop. Figures are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed January 2024.