Aashima Gupta is the Global Director of Healthcare Solutions at Google Cloud. She recently sat down with Miguel Alvarado, Lumiata’s CTO, to talk about the changes she’s seeing in healthcare as a result of Covid, her experience as a judge for the Lumiata COVID-19 Global AI Hackathon, and her thoughts on how technology is bringing us closer together.
Here are some highlights from the conversation or you can view the video here.
Q. How are you thinking about the current crisis? What is top-of-mind for you and your business?
A. Addressing the impact that COVID-19 has had on every company in all healthcare industries. I passionately believe that it is our responsibility to bring our technology to bear, to help healthcare providers care for their patients.
Q. What do you think has been the most helpful tech & AI support that healthcare services have been provided with?
A. Recognizing the limited access that patients have to care, we have seen telehealth, NLP and rapid response virtual agents take frontline action to rectify the imbalance in healthcare supply & demand.
Q. Do you think that COVID-19 is redefining the presence and pervasiveness of technologies like telehealth and chatbot in healthcare?
A. What we’re seeing is a significant increase in their demand of 50, 60, & even 70% as a result of the Covid. The growth over the last 8+ weeks is unprecedented, something we otherwise wouldn’t have seen for another 8 years. We now have the incentives to make lasting improvements to our healthcare system.
Q. As a judge for the Lumiata COVID-19 Global AI Hackathon, what were some of your key takeaways from the experience?
A. The diversity of the participants and their ideas gave me a renewed sense of creativity, through the tremendous breadth of initiatives. I always say that ‘collective action is the most powerful resource.” Here, we see just that as different individuals rallied together to solve a common problem. To all aspiring problem solvers; start with “why” and then create the solution around that problem, as opposed to creating a solution and then trying to fit it to a problem you found later on, and ensure that it’s scalable.
To all of our younger participants, as young as 10 years old, go you! I strongly encourage all of you to keep pushing and continue to be a source of inspiration for the rest of us.
Q. Is there something from this pandemic that has really stood out to you?
A. Technology is bringing us closer together in times of isolation. Not only as a safe way for family & friends to be together but as a source of communication between patients and their healthcare providers. It is encouraging to see technology being used as a medium in humanizing the new ways in which healthcare now interacts with its patients.