The Machine Intelligence in Healthcare Summit Day One Recap

The second annual Machine Intelligence in Healthcare Summit kicked off today with record attendance – up 3X over last year’s event. Featuring speakers and guests from more that twenty systems, payers, partners and research institutions, the intellectual horsepower was incredibly impressive.

Ayasdi’s CEO Bob Griffin kicked off the event with a breakdown of what qualifies as extraordinary and how that relates to healthcare.

The term extraordinary is derived from the latin terms extra ordinem or “outside of the normal course of events.”


Indeed for healthcare “outside of the normal course of events” is where we find ourselves.
Think about it for a moment – what aspect of healthcare from bench to bedside, from individual to population, from provider to payor cannot be described as “fluid” or “dynamic” or “unsettled?”
We are “outside of the normal course of events” in every regard – from the regulatory landscape to our business models and ultimately the technologies we bring to bear on behalf of our patients.
Technology is both an accelerant and an antidote to these extraordinary times.

Across the patient journey, from prepare and prevent through to Therapy and Follow-up the practice of medicine is being transformed by technology.


What we can do today was unthinkable 100 years ago. What we will do in 25 years will likely be unthinkable today.  How we apply that technology and how we manage the data it creates will define the pace of our progress and the size of our breakthroughs.

Bob was followed by IDC’s Cynthia Burghard, who did an superb job at setting the table for the rest of the day – making several key points:

  • First, that cognitive is real in healthcare.
  • Second, that the closer you get to clinical care the greater the friction.
  • Third, provider/payer gap on the deployment of AI technologies is real but narrowing
  • Fourth, that barriers to adoption, particularly at the provider side can be overcome – if you plan.

With the table set, we dug in – featuring three presentations from leading thinkers on the topic of bench to bedside.

Benjamin Horne, PhD of Intermountain discussed how they are using TDA for pneumonia decision support. Larry Smarr, PhD of UC San Diego shared how TDA is helping to decode the microbiome. Finally, Raul Rabadan, PhD of Columbia shared how TDA is being used as a different type of microscope to look at single cells and their impact on tumors.

Following a lively panel discussion, the program swiched gears, with Ayasdi’s own Monali Narayanaswami presenting Ayasdi’s Envision application development framework.

Next up was the Clinical Variation Management track. Here again, breakthrough results were complemented by hard numbers several of the speakers. Mercy’s Ursula Wright’s incredibly impressive discussion of the systems approach to care models was followed by Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Kamal Maheshwari’s discussion of their Ayasdi pilot for Colon Surgery. Dr. Andrew Masica of Baylor, Scott & White then took the stage to discuss their upcoming pilot for Coronary Bypass Surgery and how that fit into clinical variation optimization at the system.

Again, following a spirited panel discussion moderated by Ayasdi’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. FX Campion, Prashanth Kini took the stage to walk the audience through the upcoming roadmap.

What followed was a superb talk by Dr. Maureen Allen of UnitedHealthcare on the role of advanced analytics in a value based world. Her talk was followed by a deep dive on Coronary Bypass Graft (CABG) – organized as a panel and led by Dr. Campion. Joining Dr. Allen on stage was Dr. Daniel O’Hair, the VP of Cardiac Service at Aurora Healthcare and Rob Nicholson, PhD of Mercy. The wide ranging discussion, covered the procedure, innovations, how to pay and measure and ultimately how outcomes trump (most) everything.

It was an exceptional day with some exceptional thinkers, great questions and even better sidebar conversations during breaks and lunch and dinner….which we are off to right now!