Dean Freestone, Seer CEO, recently joined a panel discussion for Macquarie Group’s Australia Conference. This conference is the largest annual gathering of companies and institutional investors in Australia. The Australian Financial Review published an article from the panel around their discussions on cloud-based technology in the healthcare industry.
Article from Australian Financial Review
Healthcare waves goodbye to bricks and mortar
The healthcare sector is being tipped as the next industry to shift away from bricks and mortar, thanks to technological innovations that allow more services to be delivered digitally.
Speaking at the Macquarie Australia Conference on Wednesday, digital health experts said cloud-based technology enabled healthcare to be delivered at scale for the first time across both digital and live channels.
Key to the change was the use of technology to collect data from patients in their everyday lives, rather than via a visit to a general practitioner or hospital.
Co-founder of epilepsy diagnostic service Seer Medical, Dean Freestone, said the future of healthcare was “wrapping technologies around the clinical practice”, so patients received in-person clinical expertise supported by data that was collected in real-time at home.
“We can think of new creative business models, as we sort of break free from bricks and mortar,” Dr Freestone said.
“AI systems will become a collection … or curation of the world’s knowledge in health care and we’ll be able to deploy these on a global scale.”
Michelle Perugini, co-founder of artificial intelligence healthtech business Presagen, was also pioneering a new way of doing business in healthcare.
Presagen has embraced a “YouTube model”, in which the company entices clinics around the world to share their de-identified data with it, which power algorithms that provide the data back to the clinics for free, but which it sells to other practices.
This model was created as a solution to the company’s struggle to access data from all demographics to ensure its algorithms were useful to as broad a population as possible, Dr Perugini said.
“Global data sets are locked up in clinical environments. We as a company are saying we’re building the social network for healthcare,” she said.
“We’re working in a collaborative model, bringing clinics together around the world. We build the product, then provide them for free to clinics in our network. Everyone benefits from that and those clinics also get royalties on the sales of the products.”
Presagen’s product Life Whisperer, which uses artificial intelligence for embryo selection in IVF, is being used in clinics in India as well as Western markets. Partners involved in creating the AI include Ovation Fertility in the USA, Lynn Burmeister’s No.1 Fertility in Australia, and Malaysia’s Alpha Fertility.
“In order for technology to have a huge impact in healthcare value creation, it needs to be aligned with the incentives of every player within that value chain,” Dr Perugini said.
“I don’t think that’s been done at the moment, so technology has been forced on the clinical sector and therefore it’s been treated as an adversary.”
Dr Perugini said clinicians wanted new products they could confidently deliver to patients, more efficiency so they can see more patients, and better patient outcomes. Patients want more accessible and more affordable healthcare.
Dr Freestone said the thing that would most drive healthcare professionals towards adopting technology was the creation and marketing of solutions that let them do their jobs faster.
“People don’t buy Teslas because [they’ll lead to the creation of autonomous vehicles and greener vehicles], they buy Tesla’s because they go fast,” he said. “I think we need to think the same way in terms of adoption in the healthcare system. Systems need to be created that help the medical profession go faster.”
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