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In the latest episode of Impetus Digital‘s Fireside Chat, I had the pleasure to sit down with Tushar Pant, Consulting Executive in Healthcare at IBM, to discuss how technology is transforming healthcare. Among many other things, we explore how IBM is working to improve the healthcare industry in Canada, the technology behind IBM Watson, and methods to improve system interoperability in healthcare. Further, Tushar gives his predictions for the digital health technologies he believes will come about in the post-COVID world.

Here is a preview of our discussion:

Q: Can you talk about what IBM is doing with specific institutions, agencies, or provinces, as we’re trying to build and manage healthcare in a sustainable way under the guise of this new virus?

A: One of my clients used a very good phrase in this: “never let a disaster go to waste.” It really rings a bell, because you got to learn from that sort of emergency, you have to learn from this disaster. We all know these things are going to happen more and more, all the scientific community has told us that.

A concrete example around where we really pivoted and applied some of our artificial intelligence skills to help the citizens in that area was–you must have heard how the number of calls that the federal government’s contact center started receiving just exploded. Of course, everyone was anxious so were starting to call and, sometimes, the wait is as long as four, five hours. That was one of the areas where IBM solutions actually started helping around how do you change and reinvent the process of talking to the citizens? How can the citizens actually get some of the information using a self-care model? Either it is through a mobile app, through a web application, or through other different means. That’s one example.

The city of Markham also started using our flagship IBM Watson-based virtual agent to provide information to its citizens around COVID-19. For example, “if you are seeing these symptoms, what should you do based on your travel history?” All the symptoms that you really know. What we needed to do was to provide that information in a much more structured, engaging way to the citizens so that they don’t have to call telehealth. You get that information at your fingertips, in a much easier fashion.

Those are just two of the examples, there’s way too much work, honestly, which is happening around COVID-19 as well. All the guns are blazing.

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Tushar Pant, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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About Impetus Digital

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.