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HIMSS speaker: Internet of Things gives rise to smart machines, deep learning in healthcare

Futuristic technologies will be here sooner than expected – and healthcare organizations are not nearly ready, says The Advisory Board's Ken Kleinberg.
By Diana Manos
10:39 AM
robotic surgery

Concepts like artificial intelligence and machine learning may seem pretty abstract in healthcare, but experts say the Internet of Things is poised to quickly change that.

“It seems hard for most people to see the shorter-term impact,” said Ken Kleinberg, a managing director at the Advisory Board Company. “Many see most of this as still a long way off.”

But Kleinberg, who has more than 36 years of IT experience, is hoping to persuade healthcare professionals that the future is here during a HIMSS16 session.

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The IoT refers to the connection between people, things and the Internet. This connectivity is growing exponentially as more and more devices, or things, are being made to connect to the Internet without human intervention. Houses, cars, wearable devices, to name a few, that communicate via the Internet with humans and other machines are all part of the IoT.

So far, advances in intelligent computing are having the greatest effect on other industries such as transportation, retail, and financial services, but Kleinberg said that artificial intelligence advances will soon engulf healthcare as well.

Today, intelligent computing includes the use of algorithms, heuristics, pattern matching, rules, machine or deep learning and cognitive computing to solve problems typically performed by humans, Kleinberg said. Artificial intelligence is also useful for solving complex problems difficult for humans.

“Although it has been in development for decades, it has only recently gotten good enough for people to notice, mostly due to advances in other industries besides healthcare,” he said. 

People have developed somewhat of a prejudice toward robots doing the thinking for humans, mainly based on sci-fi movies, but that is all going to change, Kleinberg said.

“The rise of intelligent machines is approaching,” Kleinberg said, “and the world, especially the healthcare industry, is far from prepared for what’s to come.”  

Kleinberg’s session “The Rise of Intelligent Machines in Health Care” will be held Feb. 29 at 8:15 a.m. in Lando Room 4203 of the Sands Expo Convention Center. 

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