CL Takes SXSW - Day 1

First dose of AI, Machine Learning + Power of Human Interaction


Day 1, off to a great start. We arrived in phases as our travel schedules allowed. There was a sense of excitement landing at the airport and getting our cabs into the city. We couldn't help relate to how excited those Frye Fest attendees were thinking when they first got to the Bahamas, only to realize their fates soon after. 

Good news, our experience was light years different. Soup to nuts, SXSW and the Austin metro area continually make improvements each year to make this one of the best conferences and destinations possible. From the conference app, including a note-taking section for each session you can email to yourself, also an audience counter, so you know what sessions are full, partially full or not very full, to the logistics of moving masses from place to place, there's ral excitement of the event kicking off. 

Humans crave real and authentic interaction.

SXSW Session: Generation Lonely: 10,000 Followers and No Friends

Loneliness is a natural and biological response. Without true interaction containing trust and mutual respect, the mental anguish associated with being alone can exacerbate all other aspects of life, especially the physical, no matter the age.  As treatment and medicine move towards a more computerize model, fostering positive relationships between patients or patients and healthcare professionals is imperative to ensure positive outcomes – especially in the care of patients with chronic diseases.
The value beyond the pill trend extends beyond an app or a digital entity helping adherence. As patients embark on a long journey, they need the empathy and trust from people around them.

AI, Machine Learning and Empathetic treatment approach can, and will, coexist

SXSW Session: The Future of Healthcare, Really

Physicians, nurses and medical professionals are now graduating school with EMRs and use of technology that are second nature. And they want more from it, and from the healthcare community at large. Clinical Trials? Hope you're planning to capture that data (legally and ethically of course). Tracking diagnoses and outcomes? How many days did that take. Can we add that too?

In the session co-led by Dr. Clay Johnston, Dean of Dell Medical School at UT Austin, and David Feinberg, Head of Health Efforts at Google, the future of healthcare is to learn about current treatments to inform and make an impact on future outcomes, by way of leveraging the data and taking advantage of AI, Machine Learning and better designed systems. An example referenced is the Streams app, designed to provide real-time alerts and information, pushing the right information to the right clinician at the right time, so they can provide the best possible care. The focus of a soon-to-be published peer reviewed study out of the UK shows the promise of how this all can come together to decrease time for diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI) from 14 minutes before it happens, to 2 full days because of machine learning. 2 days. According to the study costs per patient dropped 20%, and that doesn't include costs associated to transplant or other supportive care.  Learn more about the Streams app here. 
So, what does this mean for doctors? If AI and Machine Learning can assist in diagnosis, what makes a good HCP? Empathy. Human interaction. The presentation referenced studies where patients had much better outcomes when patients had a bond with their HCP. Schools, like Dell are now selecting incoming students with that in mind, looking for team players, people who want to not only know the science but also help others. 
The most relevant takeaway was the response to the question to Feinberg: who are you looking to hire? The answer? A single woman balancing 2 jobs, sick kids and also taking care of her parents. She's the type of person needed on their team. Her voice and voices like hers are missing from conversations and missing from academia as well. While there's been a great focus on human centered design, people like the single mom need to be empowered to become the innovators to help fix healthcare.

Day Two teasers: Sessions we attended on Saturday included AR/VR, Empathy and Immersive Storytelling. Check back to learn more!

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