Artificial Intelligence and COVID-19

Artificial Intelligence and COVID-19

Artificial Intelligence and COVID-19

According to Gartner, there are 5 areas ripe for better COVID decision-making through AI in healthcare.

1. Early detection and epidemic analysis: Gartner names automated contact tracing, epidemic forecasting and monitoring the development of herd immunity as examples of this AI deployment category.

2. Containment: Lockdowns and similarly aggressive, one-size-fits-all measures carry enormous societal and economic costs, Gartner points out. For this reason, healthcare leaders should consult with experts in fields such as behavior analytics to optimize containment efforts.

3. Triage and diagnosis: Gartner notes that AI-enabled self-triage has already found a foothold in healthcare, as evidenced by telehealth services and virtual health assistants have increasingly helped individuals get pre-diagnoses and know what to do next.

4. Healthcare operations: Predictive staffing can help healthcare CIOs and chief data officers (CDOs) better align the supply of materials, equipment—and, not least, frontline healthcare workers—with the demand for care as it ebbs and flows, Gartner suggests.

5. Vaccine research & development: Gartner cites AI graphs and natural language processing as aids for medical researchers needing to quickly find connections across massive stacks of published clinical trials.

Here is a webinar on AI in radiology.

Is your company ready for AI? 

While most of the focus seems to be on the potential of emerging technologies and accelerating them, there are several other barriers to AI dissemination and implementation. Perhaps the most obstructive one is the people part.

Authors of an HBR article noted that, contrary to popular belief, digital transformation is less about technology and more about people. You can pretty much buy any technology, but your ability to adapt to an ever more digital future depends on developing the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand, and future-proofing your own and others’ potential.

The challenge is how to educate and train doctors and patients to win the 4th industrial revolution and enable them to change their behavior.

Here are some ways to overcome the roadblocks:

  1. Put people first.
  2. Harden the soft skills.
  3. Drive change from both the top-down and bottom-up.
  4. Change your culture through leaderpreneurship.
  5. Lead innovators, don't manage innovation systems.
  6. Use the right data to drive the right decisions when solving the right problems.
  7. Think big, start small and stay small until you are ready to take the next steps.
  8. Be sure you have the right structure and processes in place.
  9. Empower AI champions and project teams to align with strategic priorities.
  10. Know when to lead from the back instead of the front.
  11. Teach data literacy.
  12. Here's what to measure to see if you are ready.

Focus on the people part. Otherwise, you'll wind up with a VCR clicker that no one knows how to program.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Facebook group.

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  • Tom Riley

    Artificial intelligence can help fight the spread of coronavirus

  • Josh Guille

    Interesting overview

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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