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UPMC Innovates: Lessons Learned from LIGHT Forum `17

Representatives from UPMC earlier this month attended the inaugural Leaders in Global Healthcare and Technology (LIGHT) Forum at Stanford University’s campus in Palo Alto, California.

The LIGHT Forum is a two-day conference designed for a broad cross-section of executives, change makers and top policymakers in the health care field to discuss the latest developments, challenges and opportunities shaping the industry.

Working with leading thinkers from Silicon Valley, this event provided attendees with a forum for networking and discussions around rigorous analysis and foresight of the future of health care in America.

Health Care Innovation: Insights from LIGHT Forum

Every company will have to be a technology company to survive.

Health care companies need to learn to manage their data and apply insights effectively to keep up with the increased options for patients. And companies can’t really understand health data by trying to understand data in other verticals — health care technology is a unique industry. Becoming a health care technology company means developing core competencies and partnering with others when needed.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will revolutionize health care. The question is how.

The health care industry needs to be open-minded and disciplined to learn together about the advantages and efficiencies that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning bring.

For example, while AI will not replace researchers, it will produce the best research assistants. It will help create intelligent health systems that can learn and get better over time.

RELATED: How Machine Learning Can Make Health Care More Personal

We need to be disciplined in our application of the technology — without truly understanding the problem, we’re not going to get very far. What is the problem we are all trying to solve when using AI? Its productivity — taking care of more people with fewer dollars.

Value-based health care is real and nearby.

Currently, the system is not incentivized to really care for the patient, but with the proper application of technology and disruption, this will soon change.

Health care is more and more becoming an openly competitive industry, and patients will be able to decline and go somewhere else if we do not direct them to the optimal site of care. We can use big data to direct patients to the right care, ultimately providing better outcomes.

Short-term change will happen fast, long-term change will follow, and both will be dramatic.

Change is coming quickly, and it starts with understanding the whole patient.

Having patients meaningfully control their data will be the next big step, and the action is in getting the interface right for consumers. However, changing the wheels on a moving car is hard to do.

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While small companies are often thought to be the drivers of disruption, at UPMC, we are preparing for these changes by forecasting the future and actively working toward the changes needed to succeed.

We have the data. Now we need to harness the data to improve the patient journey.

This generation will not go through the experience its grandparents did at a hospital, but we just need to make the pivot. As someone said at the conference, “Innovation is what America does best” — now it’s time to prove it.