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CIO Look: The 10 Most Successful Leaders Pioneering the Healthcare

After decades of incremental progress, the healthcare technology sector has seen a recent exponential uptick in innovation. This shift can be traced to a number of different converging factors—including increased processing power, the widespread availability of datasets, and access to cloud computing among them—but look closer and one uniting factor ties them together: human champions that are pushing the industry forward. Artificial intelligence is the driving force behind some of the most powerful innovations in healthcare today, and there is no greater champion for artificial intelligence in healthcare than Dr. Anthony Chang.

Exemplifying Proficiency

Dr. Chang spent the first part of his career building an impressive resume as a pediatric cardiologist. His education included stops at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and Children’s Hospital National Medical Center. He served as the medical director of several pediatric cardiac intensive care programs before accepting his current role as medical director of the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

A Quest for Knowledge

As his accomplishments in the realm of pediatric cardiology grew, Dr. Chang chose to follow several areas of interest and pursued additional degrees. He completed a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Health Care Policy before seeking his Masters of Science (MS) in Biomedical Data Science with a subarea focus in artificial intelligence from Stanford School of Medicine. It was during this last educational pursuit that he found a passion that would fuel the next phase of his career.

As he writes in his book, Intelligence-Based Medicine: Artificial Intelligence and Human Cognition in Clinical Medicine and Healthcare (Elsevier), “It is estimated that about 80% of health-care data are unstructured.” In Dr. Chang’s view, this data represents a vast store of valuable insights, research and information that are essentially lost to the broader medical community. Not only does this pre vent clinicians like Dr. Chang from using this information to help guide their practice, but, more importantly, it deprives patients of valuable insights that might create better treatments.

With his newly-acquired expertise in data science, Dr. Chang realized that there was only one way to harness that data and information: by leveraging artificial intelligence. Armed with his varied experience in the worlds of medicine, business, leadership, and data science, Dr. Chang set to work bringing change to the healthcare industry that would allow artificial intelligence to flourish.

Leveraging Data Science and AI in Healthcare Space

Dr. Chang recognized that he faced a number of obstacles to bring the worlds of AI and healthcare together. The healthcare industry can be notoriously slow to accept new technologies. Unlike Dr. Chang, most hospital leadership lacks the data-science background to understand cutting-edge technology like AI. And AI companies have difficulty navigating the labyrinthine world of healthcare. In order to bridge these two worlds in the pursuit of a better healthcare system, Dr. Chang founded MI10, a healthcare AI consulting firm.

In his work with MI10, Dr. Chang and his team of experts have been serving clients in a variety of realms including hospitals, AI companies, medical schools, and venture capitalists. His unique position at the nexus of these disparate worlds helps his clients to make targeted, informed decisions that can help them enter into a healthcare/AI partnership with the utmost confidence.

In addition to MI10’s mission, Dr. Chang saw a pressing need to educate clinicians in the realm of AI. To this end, he founded the American Board of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (ABAIM). This non-profit organization provides certification and classes in the realm of AI in medicine. In the future, Dr. Chang plans to expand the organization’s certification offerings to include board certification similar to the clinical informatics board certification.

As one of the most important evangelists of AI in medicine, Dr. Chang has also founded a series of conferences on the topic known as AIMed. This multimedia educational and networking platform is especially designed for supporting the entire ecosystem of AI in healthcare and medicine for clinicians and administrators, as well as data scientists and AI entrepreneurs and companies. With AIMed, he hosts close to 20 international meetings a year.

Looking to the Future

If experts in the realm of healthcare technology are correct, artificial intelligence will reshape the industry as we know it. Estimates place the value of the industry at over $50 billion by 2027. As technologies ranging from deep learning to blockchain to natural language processing take root and spread throughout the industry, we may soon find ourselves looking back on the pre-AI healthcare system and imagining that this advancement was inevitable. But history has shown again and again that great periods of innovations are ushered in by great visionaries. Dr. Chang is one such visionary, leveraging his vast array of accomplishments, connections, and experiences to bring about a new age of healthcare.

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