• Is it possible to encourage people to share their sensitive information with AI for the sake of medical benefits? How do we get people to transfer from paper to digital?

  • AI is a well-known concept that is still considered not quite trustworthy – a short summary of NMS Market Research and IBM’s recent report.

  • Cybercom’s health and bio-tech related projects – steps towards leveling disparate industries.

    The deal with events like BioDataWorld congress 2018 is that they tend to leave participants with even more questions than they had in the beginning. Being the congress debutant was a perplexing experience. I am sure you will believe that my head was spinning with medical terminology, but the atmosphere was amazing! Whenever technology meets science, great things happen.

    In the course of two days of plenaries I attended the ‘AI, Automation and Machine Learning’ track. Inspiring presentations held by leading specialists in their respective fields were complimented with an outstanding form of Roundtable Sessions, a combination of networking and brainstorming.

    Science + technology = real digitalization

    Stephen Brobst’s presentation, ‘Leveraging Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics in Healthcare and Life Science: opportunities and Pitfalls’ was one that grabbed my attention entirely. Talking about AI and deep learning being the background for data-driven health care, Brobst concluded that doctors should not be afraid of being replaced by AI. But they will most probably get replaced by doctors who use AI in their daily duties. As deep learning rapidly evolves it still needs a skillful operator to evaluate its work. In direct scope of interest lies the question: how to encourage doctors to implement data-driven solutions into their practice?

    Another impressive highlight was the presentation which title tells it all: ‘Digitally empowering the person across the NHS*’. It was held by Indra Joshi who told a story of the UK’s National Health Services’ journey towards digital transformation. The goal was impressive, to make the ¾ of national healthcare system digital by desire.

    Obvious yet overlooked truth was told on that stage: delivering the digital tools does not close the deal on digitalization. Empowering people, especially older ones, to use those implemented solutions; convincing them that it is a better and simpler way to personalize their medical experiences – now this should be called a successful transition.

    How do we make it happen? How do we incentivize using technology? We tend to build profound marketing plans but neglect the basics. How come we talk about the big picture and technological possibilities opening ahead of humanity, but not about the ways of bringing that progress to people? Breaking all this breath-taking technology into small pieces gives remarkable results.

    A very interesting example was given. Something as simple as implementing WiFi in waiting rooms in clinics and giving people clear instructions how to use it proved that even older citizens are eager to go digital. We keep assuming that that group does not have any interest in technology – I admit it was refreshing to be proved wrong!

    The knights of digitalization

    As I mentioned before, another highlight of this event were the Roundtable Sessions: moderated discussions in small groups – a brilliant networking opportunity.
    I got to attend ‘Navigating Real World Data & Applied Analytics’ and ‘Patient reported outcomes’, both focused on collecting and handling data, with additional focus on patients.

    The main theme of those conversations were questions and ideas how to engage a patient to share data that fall into the gap between his medical records and general clinical research. Could this help in delivering better care?

    AI and the People – some numbers

    I think that whole event is a great conversation starter. Just a few hours ago NMS Market Research and IBM published a press note on the results of their survey on AI awareness*. Being run in Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary, research shows that 92% of Poles are familiar with the existence of AI. What is interesting, those numbers show that the youngest researched generation (18 – 24 yr. old) is not the only one familiar with the AI concept! The group of 55 – 65 yr. old subjects landed an impressive result of 84%.

    The data in the press note gets more and more interesting. Let us have a look at possible purposes for AI according to the research’s subjects:

    • 70% – IT
    • 47% – industry
    • 35% – social media and internet
    • almost 1/3 of polish responders sees the use of AI in medicine and health services

    Another interesting lead in this short information is something that BioDataWorld congress attendees have discussed at the round tables – the trust people put in AI is limited. Even though we see the potential benefits, we still consider a skilled practitioner prevalent over the raw data analysis. Only 37% of Poles would consider trusting AI with their diagnosis over doctor’s opinion and only 26% are willing to assume that the treatment line recommended by AI would be the right one.

    Health care without borders?

    Looking at those figures and knowing the hard facts that every AI needs a tremendous amount of data for in-depth analysis, a very important question that was repeatedly asked in congress, comes back to me. How do we engage people and encourage them to share sensitive information on their daily lifestyle choices? How do we ease their transition into digital environment? Being in this industry and understanding the impact of technology on peoples’ lives we feel responsibility to not only ask those questions and find answers, but also make sure the technology is safe and put to a good use.

    This goes in line with our commitment to the sustainability goals, back here in Cybercom. And by goals I really mean plural. Not only goal #3 Good Health, but development of AI assisted health services is also an opportunity to exercise the goal #10 Reduced Inequalities. AI could prove to be of use to lower the costs and facilitate the wider accessibility of health care. This means we could easily deliver equal access to health care across the globe. If not this, then what is worth taking that leap of faith by humanity?

    Being committed to Sustainability Goals, we ask one question repeatedly: Could we, Cybercom, be of assistance? Being included in several health services – related projects like DomoSafety (provider of behavior-based and medical data real-time analytics), MovereX (an app supporting patients suffering from diabetes heart conditions and other cardiovascular problems by monitoring their physical activities and linking them with their medical authority) or VirtaMed (The Connect project, meaning collecting and synchronizing data from medical training simulators), we put our interest in helping this industry on its way to modernization.

    Digital transformation in health sector has still a long way to go. There is a vast disparity comparing biotech to automotive with its autonomous cars or banking, daily facilitating digital services to its customers over apps. 
Where does this discrepancy come from? I have a few ideas. But I reluctantly jump to conclusions. Do you? It is worth discussing the case openly – only through public conversation we can work together and come to a conclusion.

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    * https://marketingprzykawie.pl/espresso/badanie-ibm-polowa-polakow-ufa-sztucznej-inteligencji

    About the Author: Tomasz Woropaj

    A project manager by heart, Tomasz has everything it takes to see the whole process through to achieve desired outcomes within the parameters of cost, scope, risk and benefits. He is graduate of Telecommunication at UTP University of Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz and MBA at Polish – Japanese Academy of Information Technology.

    Focused on bringing solutions that make the business easier, Tomasz is passionate about innovations, building and delivering IT projects that impact people and companies the good way. Asked for his passion, he never hesitates, and the word is digitalization.

    Want to talk? Go ahead!