From predicting patient outcomes to advancing drug discovery, artificial intelligence and health data are transforming medicine. Ashutosh Singhal, Ph.D., chief data officer and associate vice president, clinical data stewardship, recently spoke about these powerful tools during a panel discussion at LSTCON, a conference for Life Science Tennessee.
“We had a wonderful discussion, and it was a great opportunity to share how Meharry, through the Enterprise Data and Analytics Division, is at the forefront of data and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI / ML) in health care,” says Dr. Singhal.
The name of the session was Transforming Health Data with AI. Dr. Singhal was joined by Elizabeth Ann Stringer, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, Nashville Biosciences, and Chase Spurlock, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO, Decode Health. Jim Stefansic, Ph.D, MBA, senior director of corporate development, Cumberland Emerging Technologies, served as the moderator.
Dr. Singhal explained how the EDA is applying AI / ML in several clinical data projects.
“We have a few projects underway where we are using predictive analytics and ML modeling for chronic diseases for minority populations that will be the basis of clinical decision support systems in the future,” he says.
The panel discussed the importance of avoiding implicit bias in AI and ensuring that datasets properly represent all of society. Additionally, it is vital to include social determinants of health data with EHR data.
“Addressing health disparities is central to Meharry’s mission, and we are using SDoH data to enrich EHR data in our projects,” says Dr. Singhal. “This is not only important to the work we do for external partners, but especially for the clinical research pursued by our colleagues across the College.”
The panel also talked about the process for using AI and health data.
“For instance,” says Dr. Singhal, “we discussed the importance of starting with a small Minimum Viable Product (MVP) when using ML. This step helps us detect any weaknesses, such as poor data quality or inaccurate business assumptions, early so that we can make improvements sooner in the process.”
LSTCON and the panel were a great opportunity for Dr. Singhal to share his thoughts on AI, a technology that he believes will reshape the landscape of health care, research, and education.
“I am grateful to Jim Stefansic, Abby Trotter and her Life Science Tennessee team for putting on such a great conference and for inviting me to speak on this panel,” he says. “I also want to especially thank Fortune Mhlanga, Ph.D, senior vice president for enterprise data and analytics, and President. Hildreth for their support.”