WHCC20 | Interviews

Aziz Nazha, MD
Director, Center of Clinical Artificial Intelligence; Associate Medical Director, Enterprise Analytics
Cleveland Clinic

What is the top challenge or obstacle facing health care today?
There are a lot of challenges, but the number one is inefficiency in workflow. In the 1960s and 70s, you had four or five health care providers touch the patient. Today, it’s an average of 19. That adds a layer of complexity – especially since they don’t communicate with each other.

How are you preparing your organization for an uncertain future?
I am preparing the organization to accept that change is a good thing. Things are moving very quickly, and we have the potential to be disrupted by destructive technologies, but things are also getting easier and faster. As much as we are creatures of habit, we need to change. How do we adapt to change and better prepare as an organization for the future?

What is the most promising development in digital health that you have come across, and why?
The opportunity for artificial intelligence to help health care is the most promising. Yes, there’s a lot of hype, but technology can ease some of this burden. Can we automate the notes so the physician isn’t spending too much time in the electronic medical record? Can we provide efficiency tools around the organization?

What motivates you to keep doing the work that you do?
We live in the best time of human history to do biomedical research. Everything is democratized. Hardware and computation power are getting cheaper. We have the same tools that developers in big companies use, and they are publicly available. We accumulate so much data. All these opportunities are happening together – the challenge is how do you take advantage of it?

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring health care leader?
Be patient. Take advantage of the opportunity of the time that we live in. I tell my mentees: “Uber your life.” Uber didn’t invent cars, transportation, or cell phones. They created a platform. If you evolve to Uber in anything you do; if you build the platform that simplifies your life, you become a winner.

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