For those of you who don’t know me,  my name is Korin Reid. I’m CEO of a Healthcare AI company, a wife of one, a mother of two (2yo and 9 months old), and I’m very very tired. My love language is sarcasm and breakfast sandwiches. I’ve been building Machine Learning, Operations Research, and Advanced Analytics solutions ever since I was a PhD student at Georgia Tech. Since then, I’ve been building AI solutions in the healthcare space. I also tweet a lot. This is why I’ve been invited by the amazing folks at HIMSS to serve as a social media influencer for their Global conference. Now that you know a little bit about me, I’ll go ahead and delve into what is piquing my interest this year and what I’m looking forward to learning about this week.

AI hype Cycle: I’ve been building AI solutions in the healthcare space for a decade now and have been privy to numerous AI hype cycles. At high points, I’ve seen all marketing teams everywhere update their decks to rebrand their univariate regression models in Excel as AI. At low points, after leading solutions crashed and burned and didn’t provide the value it promised, AI became a dirty word. With the release of ChatGPT, we are at the very tippy top of the hype cycle, so I look forward to seeing all things AI. While there is a lot of hype in the industry, there is so much opportunity. There are many available tools to support more efficient AI solution development. There is so much potential. We just have to build it right. We must properly align stakeholders to ensure that all relevant parties are involved at every step of the development process.  We have to ensure that solutions are equitable, explainable, and transparent. We have to ensure that solutions provide clear and measurable ROI and we must include the tracking of this value as an integral part of the development process. And most importantly, we have to be mindful of bias to ascertain that AI solutions don’t exacerbate existing health disparities. This is how I’m driven to build AI solutions in the healthcare space, and I’m excited to learn about how other Innovators approach this.

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How Change Healthcare Hack Impacts the Conference Tone: During the hotly contested acquisition (think DOJ lawsuit) of Change Healthcare by Optum followed by the hotly contested acquisition of Optum+Changehealthcare by United Healthcare (think another DOJ lawsuit) much of the controversy was focused on reduced competition in the payer space (this led to Change divesting their payer claim editing software). Not much of the discussion centered around the potential two-hat issue, specifically, an insurer owning both leading provider claim editing software and the clearinghouse that routes the majority of healthcare claims. With the recent cyber attack, the clearinghouse and provider tools are now becoming a focal point in the discourse. I’m also curious how the looming and continued impacts of the cyber-attacks which are felt by so many in the industry impact the tone of the conference.

Interoperability: We have been talking about this for a long time. However, it seems that healthcare data is more fragmented than ever. But, I’m still hopeful and will continue to fight against data silos so that patients, providers, and caregivers have the right data at their fingertips to properly administer and manage care. FHIR is not a four-letter word (well, it is literally, but isn’t figuratively). I’m looking forward to attending ALLL of the FHIR sessions as I’m excited about what a future free of data silos looks like. I will continue to work toward building a seamless and shareable longitudinal patient record. Call me naive, call me delusional, but I’m going to continue to build one small step at a time.

Value-Based Reimbursement: Like interoperability, value-based reimbursement is something that we’ve been talking about since I started in this industry. It’s also something for which we’ve seen slow implementation. Like interoperability, regulation will ultimately be what spurs the widespread adoption of value-based reimbursement models. With that said I’ve heard recently from several organizations and various stages of the value-based reimbursement journey that are heavily pursuing or implementing various risk-based contracts. I look forward to hearing more about which types of contracts health systems are pursuing and understanding best practices and key takeaways. In particular, I want to understand how my work in the area of population health and contract modeling and optimization can contribute to this growing area. 

Health disparities: This is a huge problem. Too often we talk about how we can’t control social determinants of health and throw our hands up in defeat. However, the truth is, that many disparities exist even when we control for social factors, geographic factors, comorbidities, economic factors, hospital characteristics, I could go on and on. We have to also look at the systematic issues. This includes making sure that we have diverse voices with a seat at the table. This is particularly true with the renewed interest in AI as AI exacerbates existing health disparities if we aren’t careful. We’ve seen this happen time and time again. As healthcare AI taskforces and organizations pop up, particularly those addressing equity and bias, I’m concerned about a lack of diversity in leadership. This is something to watch. I’m looking forward to robust discussions around health disparities and hope to see diverse voices with a seat at the table.

The Food: Like Healthcare AI solutions, food for crowds is hard to scale. So will the chicken be dry, extra dry, or Sahara Dessert dry? Only time will time.