Artificial Intelligence in Health Care: What's Next?

November 15, 2017

What role, if any, will Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) play in health care? This was the overarching question posed last week at Xconomy’s Healthcare and A.I. Northwest conference hosted at the Cambia Grove.  Matt Holman, principal for market development at Echo Health Ventures, joined pioneers in the field of A.I. like Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Alice Zhang, founder and CEO of Verge Genomics, to discuss A.I.’s future in health care.

Speaking on a panel that focused on A.I. from the perspective of investing in startups, Matt discussed the difficulties startups face by not necessarily understanding the larger context of the problem they’re trying to solve, hindering their ability to maximize on ROI. "We work on understanding patients and looking for solutions that fix what they’re asking for,” said Holman during the panel. “We then work backwards, engaging with experts, startups, and medical professionals to figure out how the current solution to the problem is failing."

Matt was joined on the investment panel by Jens Francis, AngelMD; Kristen Morbeck, SpringRock Ventures; and Peter Neupert, Adaptive Biotechnologies. They each spoke to what they look for when deciding whether to invest in a digital health startup. "We're patient-focused capital,” Holman explained. “Because of that, we’re willing to make longer term investments because we’re looking for longer term transformations” to solve real health care consumer issues. The arrival of A.I. harkens to a long-sought after technological advancement health care providers have been looking for to improve well-being. However, due to changing regulations and expectations, the Xconomy experts agreed the question of what role will A.I. play in health care will have to be revisited often.


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