AI Innovation for the Good of Healthcare
A Conversation with Tom Lawry, National Director for AI, Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft
Tom Lawry is a Director of Worldwide Health and leads Global Product Strategy, Health Analytics for Microsoft. In this role he works with health providers, payors, and governments in planning and implementing innovative technology solutions that improve the quality and efficiency of health services delivered around the globe. He focuses on strategies for health information modernization, business intelligence, and performance optimization. He previously served as Director of Organizational Performance for the Microsoft Health Solutions Group.
Listen to the Conversation
- In this episode, Gil chats with Tom Lawry, National Director for AI, Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft. Tom has extensive experience in startups, with some of the largest software companies in the world, and with mission-driven health systems. He’s working on using cloud-based AI that can drive performance and effectiveness in health systems through cutting edge technology.
- Even in the early days of the internet, we tried to make the patient experience better through technology. As we developed better tools for general business intelligence and started to leverage even early forms of AI it started to go from science fiction to reality. When you look at the huge amount of data that’s even still growing now, there’s an enormous opportunity to streamline the care experience.
- Healthcare has always been steeped in going after things that are trending – the next big thing. There are times that works against the ability to apply something new and emerging at scale. AI has been the ‘shiny object’ for several years. They talk about it at every conference. We have to talk about AI in more practical, tactical ways. Even brilliant leaders can start pushing back on the tech stuff almost as if they’re intimidated. The building blocks of AI are not that complex, but that leadership imperative can be the difference between producing at scale across an enterprise or not. We’re really talking about data management strategies with new tools to help every knowledge worker to make them better.
- Estimates today state that healthcare knowledge doubles every 73 days. Imagine being a new specialist at the top of your game today. In three months, what you need to know will have doubled. No human can keep up with that. That’s AI’s value proposition. People don’t understand what AI actually is and what clinicians actually do and how they can leverage the technology to do their work more effectively. There are two classes of health systems going forward: the traditional ones that exist today that use AI to improve existing ways of working, and the ‘intelligent health systems’ that are gaining a real understanding of these tools to fully reinvent the way they work across all experiences and touchpoints.
- In America we spend more on healthcare per capita than any other nation, but by any measurable health outcome we’re dead last compared to other developed nations. Why is that? We have the best group of doctors, nurses, providers, and technology, but something’s not working. People are trapped in this historical model that’s exacerbated by financial headwinds born of how we created the system 50 or 60 years ago. Technology alone won’t do that. Look what happened with COVID and the pandemic. Why did it take a pandemic to really pull telehealth forward? Technology has a role – it gives humans the ability to start looking at how to change processes that may have worked decades ago but aren’t working now. We have to take technology like AI and find the will to do better.
About the Show
Join digital health advocate and author Gil Bashe, on Health Unabashed, as he discusses the power of collaboration and innovation in improving care across the health ecosystem. Sharing stories and insights from a global perspective, Gil looks at the companies and people who are making a difference and offers his opinions on how to connect the dots to transform the industry for good.
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