Pursuing Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Digital Innovation

Getting Started With Digitalization

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Ken Kumar

As the world is moving to digitalization, you may be wondering, “how do we plan to go about this?” Related questions that you may also wonder are how to gather and generate digital innovation opportunities across the enterprise, and then determine which opportunities to pursue.

Today, we are going to address these questions and provide thought leadership on strategies that you can adopt. To make this meaningful, I have used the healthcare/bio-pharma industry as a backdrop. However, the suggested techniques are broadly applicable across many industries.

Digital disruption and innovation can be fostered when an appropriate environment is created. We have seen some great examples of innovation in the past. The healthcare and pharmaceutical industry can adapt and learn from methodologies successfully adopted by various technology companies, such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon. For example, Facebook disrupted the industry by open-sourcing many key technologies. Although some of these may not directly apply to all industries, it is thoroughly interesting to ponder these innovative ideas in order to develop ideas that will work in your industry. I have adapted and reproduced from Google some of the principles below for health care.

  • Have a mission that matters; patients come before anything else
  • Innovation comes from anywhere
  • Aim to be 10x better
  • Be on technical insights
  • Focus on the user
  • Fail well (failure can be a positive and a great learning experience)

Categories Of Tactical Techniques

Below are some ideas on tactical techniques across the enterprise that will generate opportunities to evaluate. I have bucketed it into four categories: Communicate, Solicit, Sponsor, and Tools and Panel.

The Tools bucket above includes ideas for 3 tools. Some of the specific ways it can used are as follow. Once you get data (it could be as simple as users clicking on a “like” button) from the enterprise in the deployed moderator tool, you will be able to use Natural Language Processing (NLP) and collaborative filtering recommender system algorithms to obtain sentiments and recommendations for a project and seek a sponsor.

A small Innovations Center of Excellence (CoE) can be the engine to drive this forward. It behooves the leadership to create an appropriate environment fostering a learning opportunity for the innovations team to think and be creative. The team should function as a technology think tank — with opportunity to evaluate, experiment, and implement. However, I will mention that all ideas have to be feasible within the context of the corporate culture.

To quote Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and it is therefore very important for this team to understand the organizational culture and work within the culture to influence change.

A human-centric approach that prioritizes efficiencies and user experience before new technology implementation will be most appropriate. Prioritization should be based on project charters and business cases with defined ROI.

It would be useful to develop a framework for digitalization that can also be utilized for prioritization. The elements/steps of this suggested framework in increasing maturity level for consideration are digitizing operations (start with this first), organization, HCP/patient experience, and products/services.

It is also helpful to utilize opportunities when presented. For example, lead off with predictive analytics when working with the commercial department for a traditional analytics dashboard on regional sales. An analytics dashboard opportunity can be converted to predicted analytics by modeling based on various features, such as sales rep, region, training, experience, and healthcare professional, to arrive at predictive early-on sales indicators.

About The Author

Ken Kumar is a dynamic and accomplished technology executive with significant experience and success in Life Sciences with full IT accountability to enhance shareholder and partner value. Ken is a business-driven technology leader with vision, thought leadership and management skills in analytics, artificial intelligence(AI)/machine learning, enterprise systems, and green-field implementations. Ken champions diverse projects with expertise in leadership by innovation, application delivery, architecture, system integrations, infrastructure and service desk. He is an acclaimed thought leader in digital disruption who implements technology solutions, and deliveries in AI and machine learning utilizing big data for analytics. He can be reached at ken.kaks99@gmail.com.