In the latest episode of Impetus Digital‘s Fireside Chat, I sit down with Leo Grady, CEO of Paige.AI, to uncover what it has been like being a pioneer in the digital therapeutic space and the many challenges that come with bringing AI technology to market. Among many other things, we discuss tips on managing a Beta mode software; the barriers to, and perceived value of, an AI software in the healthcare field; and potential new applications of AI in the post-COVID world.
Here is a preview of my conversation with Leo:
Q: What are the challenges and barriers to adoption of AI in healthcare; what do you think is holding people back?
A: One of the biggest challenges is people confusing a technology and a product. AI is a technology that can be used to build a product, and that product needs to go through trials and all the same paces as any medical device or other medical product, but it’s not a product on its own. So when people think of AI, they have this idea of a robot doctor that’s going to come and diagnose you. Yes, that’s one vision that some people have, but that’s certainly not the reality of what anybody is building or what the technology can do.
The fact is, AI is all around us: in the consumer space, and it’s already around us in a healthcare setting too. Your electronic medical record can remind you to order more inventory; that’s done with AI. The doctor might look at Google; that’s AI. The way MRI and CT machines take a picture now and create a CAT scan or an MRI scan is made better using AI. None of it is a robot doctor, though. When you think about AI, nobody thinks about Google. Nobody thinks about the EMR. Nobody thinks about the creation of advanced images. And so I think just in the same way with pathology, the more we can focus on what the product is doing and what the clinical benefit is, and the clinical data and evidence to support what the technology is doing, I think that’s going to both communicate it better and get people to realize that this is a new advanced medical technology that’s going to help them practice better.
Q: Pending final approval from the FDA, what are the next steps and plan of action for Paige.AI to become an integral part of hospital pathology departments?
A: Well, the technology ultimately depends on digitization. And it also depends on having that clinical evidence that suggests that this technology is providing both clinical and health economic benefits. So we’ve been working with a number of early access sites to be able to establish that body of evidence. We’re starting to see some of those publications become public now; there was a paper in Modern Pathology last month and we’re actively working with a number of other sites to promote and publish additional work in this space.
So there is the FDA part of it: being able to demonstrate that it is safe and effective and getting that green light to be able to market and sell your product for clinical use. However, even if you have that green light, if you haven’t provided the body of evidence that tells pathologists that this is something that’s going to help them make their life easier and help them treat their patients more effectively, then there’s going to be hesitation to go forward and adopt it. That’s why we’ve been working with these early access sites to build that body of evidence. Ultimately, that’s going to be what moves the field forward in pathology.
For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Leo Grady, or listen to the podcast version, below.
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Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.