Sramana Mitra: We’re seeing an increasing amount of AI applications in the healthcare IT domain. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this announcement that we recently made of a European partnership with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and their digital health arm. 115 companies from Europe are going to be accelerated within the One Million by One Million program. They all have different flavors of all this stuff going on.
Matthew Sappern: Whatever we can do to put care closer to the patient is pretty remarkable. These digital platforms have the triple ability to generate data, interpret that data, and deliver information directly to the patient in milliseconds. You’re seeing more and more people who are much more comfortable with these technologies and using these technologies in everyday life.
My father could never wrap his head around an ATM. Now I can’t even remember life without an ATM and I’m in my mid-50’s. God knows what my son and daughter are looking at that is going to be prehistoric relatively shortly. The current generation kids are much more comfortable with interacting with technology in many ways and more comfortable with understanding the data that comes from them.
Another space that I meant to mention before is, there’s such a significant growth in ambulatory surgery. It used to be that all surgeries were in the hospital. Now they are putting in hip, shoulders, and knees, and doing some significant internal organ surgery in an outpatient setting. That’s great and certainly cost-efficient. It helps the clinicians be more of the masters of their domain, but it’s still a picture of a single nurse managing over two or three patients who are coming out of anesthesia.
Sramana Mitra: I think that problem is rampant – not using data and making off-the-cuff decisions. Look at doctors. Primary care physicians spend 15 minutes with the patient. How can they even make sense of all the data that’s out there in 15 minutes?
Matthew Sappern: Yes, it’s crazy. Let’s talk about the challenges for a minute though. It’s a great cocktail chatter, as you can imagine. You have these conversations far more than I. The fact of the matter is machine learning and artificial intelligence is in a very nascent form right now. You will be stunned at the amount of people I talk to who take a terabyte of information and drop TensorFlow on top of it, stir it a little bit, and then come back in 24 hours. You’ve got some great healthcare algorithms. It’s really absurd.