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Mayo Clinic CIO: 'This artificial intelligence stuff is real' | Healthcare IT News

SANTA CLARA – Mayo Clinic Chief Information Officer Cris Ross put it plainly during his keynote speech at Health 2.0 this week: 'Our systems are not adequately supporting our doctors, in lots and lots of ways.'

And to do that, the health system is embracing a wide array of future-looking initiatives such as its just-announced 10-year partnership with Google Cloud, which will offer security and agility – and will enable Google's AI scientists to work shoulder to shoulder with Mayo's own researchers, developing new models of care.

'I would make the argument that the systems that we have in hospitals today are about as good as corporate systems you'd see on another side,' said Ross – acknowledging that that comment could make 'some of my doctor friends want to tar and feather me: 'What in the world are you talking about?' But it's true: 'They all look pretty much the same,' he said.

'As a patient, I experienced the fact that our systems are not adequately supporting our doctors in lots and lots of ways – primarily because we're still struggling with this basic system of automated healthcare and not advancing the program,' he explained.

Whether it's voice recognition, geographic information service, automated reminders or any other of a host of nifty AI tools hidden away in smartphones and mobile devices, there's 'a significant number systems that impact my life all the time – little AI – that keep my life functioning well,' said Ross.

And as healthcare gets better at squirreling them away in unnoticed corners of clinical workflow, they'll only help improve the clinician experience – and, by extension, the patient's.

Many of Mayo Clinic's most exciting recent innovations, from deep learning algorithms that can predict atrial fibrillation to its work with radiogenomics, which combines aspects of AI, imaging and precision medicine, bear this out.

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