Ahead of HIMSS18, AIMed Magazine had the opportunity to interview Michael Nusbaum, Vice Chair Elect of HIMSS North America Board of Directors (his terms starts July 1, 2018).

himss ai vice chair

Michael Nusbaum, Vice Chair Elect of HIMSS North America Board of Directors

Michael is the President of M.H. Nusbaum & Associates Ltd., and a global healthcare IT thought leader and expert who has been involved with HIMSS since the 1970s. He told us how he sees technologies like AI impacting healthcare:


AIMed Magazine: What technology trends are you currently seeing and where is healthcare moving at the same time as these trends are emerging?


Michael Nusbaum: I love getting questions about technology trends moving so rapidly, because from my perspective, trends in health, healthcare and healthcare delivery are changing even more rapidly.  We must never lose sight of WHY healthcare technology is so important. Technology is absolutely required for us to reasonably respond to the demands of changing healthcare. And these changes will only continue to grow exponentially in future years.


Technology evolution follows a natural order of growth, so I’m not surprised at some of the exciting opportunities now available: cloud, IoT, AI, Machine Learning, crypto-currency – these are great tools, with a tremendous amount of value to help us deliver better, more cost-effective healthcare. And no one will be shocked when, next year, we see an even greater number of emerging technologies to marvel at!!


AIMM: How, in your opinion, does AI impact healthcare delivery, quality of patient care, and the cost + efficiency of healthcare?

MHN: I’ve been following the development of AI since the very early days in the 1970’s and have seen countless illustrations over the years of how AI can impact our healthcare system.

My favourite example is how AI supports clinical decision support. The sheer amount of clinical knowledge that must be tapped, synthesized, contextualized and brought forward in a useful way at the point of care far exceeds what can be done without some form of AI.  The days when a physician can rely on the little black binder stuck in his/her pocket containing personal notes and protocols are long gone.  Mining the vast knowledge resources to arrive at a diagnosis or treatment plan is today only possible with AI-enabled clinical decision support. Of course, this impacts not only our ability to deliver quality care, but dramatically reduces the cost and efficiency of the services we provide – no question.

AIMM: Do you think that these technologies will equally benefit all parts of the TRIPLE AIM in healthcare: Health of a population, experience of care, and per capita cost? Could one of these three things benefit slightly more/less from 4th industrial revolution technologies like AI?


MHN: You know, my answer is simple: if these technologies don’t benefit the Triple Aim, then why are we wasting our time? AI, along with many other emerging technologies, has a key role to play. But it’s not about how cool the technology is, it’s about how it impacts our health, our environment, and our quality of life. We absolutely need to keep our focus squarely on these goals.


AIMM: What does a healthcare providing organisation need to do in order to ride the wave of AI development? What strategy should they employ so they can get the most benefit out of this emerging technology?


MHN: First and foremost, healthcare providers need to become aware, and familiar with AI developments in our industry.  Much of this is well-covered in journals and ongoing medical education offerings. And vendors are finally bringing an array of AI-enabled tools to the market, so providers can see and touch the various applications that can help them in their delivery of care. I guess today’s key challenge is still convincing organizations to invest in these tools, to effectively demonstrate that implementation of AI-enabled applications can dramatically impact quality of care while simultaneously improving the financial bottom line! Education and awareness is the key.


AIMM: What do you think an organisation like HIMSS can do to help healthcare organisations develop an AI strategy and gain benefits from the wave of 4th industrial revolution technologies, including AI, IoT, Cloud Computing et al?


MHN: HIMSS is perfectly positioned to expose health system stakeholders (providers, payers, governments, academia, vendors) to the wonders of AI. Education abounds at HIMSS conferences, as does the vast array of AI-enabled applications that can be test-driven. HIMSS provides many other services beyond the conferences that can help transform and enable the industry towards AI and other emerging technologies. One of the ways HIMSS can really assist in getting the right message to the users and purchasers is to contextualize AI with respect to other technologies and healthcare system needs. It’s not just about AI, it’s about AI in context.


AIMM: As a global healthcare IT thought leader and expert, especially with your role at HIMSS as Vice-Chair Elect of HIMSS Norther American Board of Directors, would you be open to share what strategic directions and approaches HIMSS is taking to educate healthcare ecosystems to embrace and further the application of AI?


MHN: Emerging technologies such as AI are squarely on the radar of the HIMSS-NA Board, as we look towards how we can continue to further our mission of positively transforming health and healthcare through the best use of information and technology.  Personally, I’m a fierce advocate of applying the right technologies to where they can be most impactful in maintaining our health, so I applaud the AI community for the amazing amount of hard work and stellar results over the past 40 years. And there’s so much more that can be done. I am both inspired and excited by the prospect of what we are already able to accomplish, and what the future holds in store. Kudos!!!