Iksha Herr Previews Her Keynote Address on Data and AI in Health Care for PCOC 2021

Iksha Herr of Microsoft previews her talk on leveraging data and artificial intelligence (AI) in health care, which will be a high point of this year's Patient-Centered Oncology Care® (PCOC) conference.

Iksha Herr is the managing director of data and artificial intelligence (AI) at Microsoft's Healthcare & Life Sciences department. Herr will be the keynote speaker for the 10th anniversary of Patient-Centered Oncology Care® (PCOC) conference.


Your keynote address starts with the idea that a true patient-centered health care continuum is still a work in progress. Why, in your view, is health care still so disconnected?

I really think there is recognition that it is a continuum. So, each of these areas, drug development, providing health services to patients, and then the payer part, which is paying for the cost of the services and drug development, are connected, but I think there is a lack of coordination and synchronization and an understanding that each of these parts has a very significant role to play for the other parts. I think that's where the lack of urgency and addressing those parts is the reason for this.

A second major idea of your talk is that both people and patients are needed to leverage the full potential of data and AI. Can you elaborate on your distinction between people and patients?

So, because I am so focused on data and AI, and how data and AI can play a role in the health care continuum, I see the use of good quality data as a very important piece of the puzzle to solve all the health care issues that we have. And where good data comes from is not just patients, but also people because people can participate by providing data by using their voice to shape policy around data and AI, and also participating in informing care and being a part of this data and AI ecosystem to solve the health care issues that we have.