#LIGHTForum2018 Q&A: Alex Turkeltaub

Ahead of the LIGHT Forum, we will be hosting a series of blog posts highlighting sponsors, speakers, and other leaders involved in the event.

Our first post comes from Alex Turkeltaub, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Roam, and the one to initiate the LIGHT Forum, along with co-hosts at Stanford Linguistics.  

Why did you decide to move into the healthcare space?

Healthcare is the only industry in the world that in every generation we leave the world a better place. Sometimes progress is linear, sometimes it’s exponential, but it’s always progress. A lot of times technology is used to harm people or it’s not so good for us. In healthcare, it’s very clear that new technology is making us better.

Ultimately, healthcare impacts every single human on earth. There is not one single person that doesn’t interact with the healthcare system.

What are the biggest barriers to adoption of AI and machine learning technologies in healthcare?

The barriers are twofold:

1)    People are used to working without data. Changing the mentality for data to drive decisions is quite hard.

2)    Large entities are always slow to adapt, and we need to work with them to make these changes a reality.

Where do you see the biggest opportunity to incorporate machine learning, AI, and big data in the healthcare space?

It’s very clear. Big data has the potential to diagnose early and appropriately treat diseases across the whole spectrum. Our ability to understand whether patients are getting the right treatment through personalized medicine and to prioritize preventive medicine by understanding what’s driving their disease is incredibly powerful.

Why did you start the LIGHT Forum and what are you excited about in this year’s event?

There’s no other place where people come together to talk about AI and machine learning in the context of the healthcare business. While there are plenty of health technology conferences, LIGHT is focused on the business model of healthcare. It’s very similar to the disruption of the automotive industry by self-driving cars. It’s not just about what makes the car autonomous, it’s about how this new technology is fundamentally changing the business model. Car companies can no longer operate as they once did and it’s largely about policy changes to make adoption happen. We wanted to create a forum where that type of transformational discussion is taking place for healthcare.

This year, we have unbelievable mix of panelists, all either at the CEO level or high-ranking policy makers. We will have meaningful conversations on what will be different about the entire healthcare industry moving forward.

Learn more about Roam and hear Alex on the panel “Rapid Change or Linear Evolution: Where Will We Be a Year from Now?” (May 9, 4:40 pm)

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