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Interview with Faraz Shafiq

AI will finally make it possible to create a personalized healthcare experience

Written by Corinium

Interview with Faraz Shafiq

Written by Corinium on May 1, 2019 4:07:14 PM

IBM CDO IBM CDO Summit Insights Data and Analytics

Faraz20ShafiqAI will allow us to meet a cause that was defined 15 years ago but it has its challenges, says Faraz Shafiq, SVP and CAIO of Cambia Health Solutions  

Artificial intelligence will finally make it possible to create a personalised health experience for citizens, according to Faraz Shafiq, Chief AI Officer of Cambia Health Solutions, a family of companies creating simple and personalized health experiences.  

Shafiq, who will be part of a panel session at IBM CDO Spring Summit on June 24th in San Francisco, says that the need for personalised healthcare has been something that Cambia Health Solutions has been striving towards for more than 15 years, but it is now something that can genuinely become a reality thanks to the advances in technology.

“When you look at healthcare, it’s very complicated – there are social determinants of health and everyone has a very unique biology and circumstances, whether it be social, financial or emotional. So if you really want to offer a great personalized experience that is optimized for an individual then it is a very difficult problem to solve,” Shafiq says.

“This isn’t just from a technology or compute perspective but also when it comes to considering how you design all of these different solutions and bring them together,” he adds.

Now, he believes that the industry is finally at a point where it is economically feasible to start implementing these advanced solutions – as many tools are offered as a utility and many of the skills necessary to use these products have become more widespread.

“We want to be a catalyst for transformation, creating a much more person-focused and economically sustainable system that does the best for the consumer, families and their unique circumstances, and we believe technology and AI in general are a great catalyst for us to do that,” he says, adding that the likes of Amazon and Netflix have already reshaped customer expectations in their respective industries, and others have done the same in the finance and telecoms sectors.

Consumers are now expecting similar types of services from healthcare.

“They want instant support, instant help and they want answers that are specific and unique to their own circumstances – AI is a game changer for personalization and by adding a touch of empathy and design thinking, you can really solve customer pain points,” he adds.

But while the benefits of AI are often talked about, there are also many challenges with the technology. Shafiq explains that one of the main challenges is the way AI is perceived.

“If you look at every problem as an engineering or AI problem then every solution will also be an engineering and AI solution. Instead, if you take a look at what the true pain points are and what the consumers are actually asking for then you can focus your efforts on solving those pain points,” he says.

The focus is therefore not believing that all problems are technology-related, but rather that technology can be used as a catalyst to solve real problems.

Another key challenge Shafiq mentions is that the AI models and algorithms need to be tested and quantified properly to ensure they’re working as they should – while the data itself has to be the specific information required, and of a high standard. 

“A lot of our time and energy was spent making sure that the data infrastructure, the technology platforms and the algorithms we’re building are doing the right thing for the consumer,” he says.

If you’d like to hear more from Faraz then join him at the IBM Chief Data Officer Summit in San Francisco this June 24-25.

The IBM CDO Summit is a gathering of 120+ C-Suite Data & Analytics executives. Known as ‘the most influential gathering of CDOs’ anywhere, the event is for data leaders, by data leaders.

This June we celebrate our 10th Edition, making this the longest running event of its kind, and certainly not one to miss.

At the event, Faraz’s Keynote Panel Session will cover:

Ensuring Success in a Brave New World - Meeting the Artificial Intelligence Challenge

  • Defining the state of the possible – how mature are AI technologies currently, and what should we expect in the years ahead?
  • What opportunities does AI present to modern businesses ready to exploit them? What are the challenges, and how can these be best overcome?
  • Getting beyond the buzzword – where should we be applying AI, and where shouldn’t we?
  • How can we as data leaders best ensure that we are fit to make the most of these and avoid getting left behind?

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