“Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”

Steve Jobs, 1994

To see how this is happening, look no further than the last three pandemic-laden years. In an era of both fast-moving viruses and fast moving data, people all over the world used AI to predict who would need what kind of treatment, accelerate vaccine development and distribution, figure out where and what kinds of variants will come to dominate the next viral surge, and more. Facing off against a devastating adversary at global scale forced AI’s healthcare practitioners to sharpen their tools faster and better than ever before.  Now, as COVID continues its slow exodus from our daily consciousness, these tools are being put to work to help solve deeper, foundational problems in population health.

Arguably the biggest of these problems is the sheer volume of human hours spent by practitioners across the population health spectrum simply trying to figure out who to engage and how to engage them. At its core, AI is a superpowered pattern-recognition/prediction engine – this kind of data discovery is primed for AI-based interventions, freeing up nurses, doctors, and care managers to spend more time actually engaging the people they can help the most. This AI-driven accelerant will need to be balanced against the risk of introducing unintentional algorithmic bias into outreach efforts – yet if done well, AI-optimized approaches will dramatically expand successful population health interventions in both human and physical resource-limited settings.

It is indeed an exciting time to be engaged in population health based AI, as people use the tech to turn promise into products and optimism into outcomes all over the world.

Chris DeRienzo is speaking at AIMed’s Global Summit scheduled for June 4-7th 2023 in San Diego. Book your place now!

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