Vice President, OptumLabs Center for Applied Data Science, UnitedHealth Group
Sanji Fernando is vice president and head of the OptumLabs Center for Applied Data Science (CADS). CADS is a new kind of resource within Optum, focused on the application of new data science methods to solve complex healthcare challenges faced by UnitedHealthcare and Optum. Specifically, CADS applies breakthrough innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning to create software prototypes. Natural Networks and Optum CommunityHealth are two of the product concepts developed by CADS. Fernando joined UnitedHealth Group in 2014 from Nokia, where he created the data science team for Nokia. The data science team was responsible for launching the first big data computing cluster at Nokia to analyze user activity and engagement and to design new product concepts from the insights generated from this cluster. Before that, Fernando spent nine years at Nokia in a variety of corporate roles with Nokia’s Advanced Business Development team, Nokia Research, and Nokia Ventures. Prior to Nokia, Fernando was a co-founder and vice president of engineering for the venture-backed mobile software company, Vettro. Fernando began his career in consulting with Viant and Accenture. Fernando is a graduate of Trinity College with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, Michelle, and their three boys. In his free time, Fernando enjoys coaching his sons in basketball and baseball. He also serves on the board of his local Little League.