The convergence of personalized medicine with digital health and artificial intelligence, systems biology, social networks, big data analytics and precision medicine is on the cusp of enabling an emerging field: scientific wellness. "Over the next 10-15 years there will be a scientific wellness industry in contrast to the disease industry and the market cap will far exceed that of the disease industry," said Leroy Hood, Chief Science Officer at Providence St. Joseph. "The contrast between 20th and 21st Century medicine is striking, 21st is proactive, focused on the individual, disease and it employs personalized data clouds to explore the complexities of human beings." The idea of scientific wellness is a quantitative approach that includes improving the health of individuals, create personalized treatments, reverse disease transitions and reduce costs -- distinct from the current wellness trend focusing primarily on behaviors such as diet and lifestyle. Precision medicine, much like the future in cyberpunk author William Gibson's oft-cited quote, is already here -- it's just not evenly distributed yet.
Digital data has become the lifeblood of healthcare, touching every facet of the delivery system and informing – sometimes transforming – the way clinical decisions are made and operational strategies are developed and deployed. And, as anyone who is a healthcare decision-maker knows all too well, there's more data than ever before – structured, unstructured, semi-structured; labs and imaging; genomic and proteomic; patent-generated data; social determinants of health – with more being amassed in electronic health records, connected devices and data lakes every day. Thankfully, the technology used to access, analyze and put that data to work is also getting more advanced on a continuing basis. Ever more sophisticated analytics software and precise predictive algorithms are at our fingertips. Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools are finding their place and hospitals and health systems large and small.
The Cleveland Clinic's plans for the future will depend on digital platforms such as telemedicine, data analytics and artificial intelligence, as the $8 billion healthcare organization looks beyond its core electronic health record system capabilities, according to new president and CEO Tom Mihaljevic, MD. "Digital technology will allow us to deliver smarter, more affordable and more accessible" care, said Mihaljevic during his first State of the Clinic address. "The Cleveland Clinic has always been an early adopter, beginning with our electronic medical records. But now, we have to take technology even more seriously. We have to go for even more transformational technologic adoption." Mihaljevic, who succeeded Toby Cosgrove in January, noted that telemedicine is the health system's fastest growing clinical offering through Express Care Online, an app that runs on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers to connect with healthcare providers.
Dr. David C. Rhew, global chief medical officer and vice president of healthcare at Microsoft and an adjunct professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, is steeped in the healthcare industry. When he speaks, people pay heed. Healthcare IT News interviewed him ahead of the big HIMSS20 conference and exhibition, asking him to put his finger to the wind and discuss the most pressing trends affecting healthcare that HIMSS20 attendees need to keep top of mind. He did not disappoint, identifying three major trends and challenges facing the industry right now. According to the World Health Organization, a "swift upward trajectory" of global health costs is resulting in an increase in domestic healthcare spending and out-of-pocket expenses.
Cleveland Clinic creating a new center for artificial intelligence that aims to further collaboration and communication between physicians, researchers and data scientists as AI and machine learning efforts evolve and gain traction across the health system. WHY IT MATTERS The goal is to boost research on various clinical use cases where machine learning, deep learning and other AI approaches could be brought to bear, officials said. The center will convene specialists from departments such as IT, genetics, laboratory, oncology, pathology, radiology and more. A project of Cleveland Clinic Enterprise Analytics, the Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence will seek new and innovative applications of AI for diagnostics, disease prediction and treatment planning. Already, researchers at the center are developing new machine learning models for more accurate clinical decision support, quality improvement, predictions of length or stay and readmission risk and other use cases, officials said.