Podcast | Healthcare (HC)

How Mass General Brigham Uses Automation for Better Patient Care

THL’s Automation in Action, Episode 1

It’s no secret the American hospital system is under heavy strain. Practitioners are burnt out, patient volumes are rising, and resources are finite. The challenge for hospitals is stark: How can they achieve better outcomes at lower cost, and improve patient and practitioner satisfaction? In this episode, we speak with Jane Moran, Chief Information and Digital Officer at Mass General Brigham, about how automation can help achieve this triple good on the way to building hospitals for the 21st century.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • How Mass General Brigham is using technology to achieve breakthroughs in pathology and treatment.
  • How automation at Mass General Brigham is a key element in improving empathic patient care.
  • How using software like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is helping to alleviate additional stress on healthcare practitioners.
  • What future opportunities are emerging for AI in the healthcare industry.

To learn more about THL’s cross-sector strategy to uncover opportunities in emerging technologies, visit THL.com/automation.

Jane Moran [00:00:02] Biology and health care are two industries where it needs to be a learning culture. And I think maybe that is also a blocker in some organizations. I find that here in Massachusetts it’s a huge one. And in Boston, with all these universities, it’s just naturally a learning center. So that’s been very positive for us.

Jim Carlisle [00:00:28] That’s Jane Moran, chief information and digital officer at Mass General Brigham. And I’m Jim Carlisle, and this is Automation in Action, where we pull back the curtain on automation technology and lead you on a journey inside. I’m here with my colleagues Josh Nelson and Syndie Kim. We had the chance to sit down with Jane and talk about ways that automation is transforming the delivery of patient care at Mass General Brigham, a world renowned integrated health system headquartered in Boston. With resources increasingly strained, patient needs ever greater and doctors and nurses experiencing record burnout. Hospitals are on the forefront of health care transformation.

Syndie Kim [00:01:08] For me, it was incredibly eye opening to hear how automation at Mass General Brigham is centered around improving the patient experience. It’s about saving time and resources, of course, but there’s a strong client focus to everything Jane’s team has been doing.

Jim Carlisle [00:01:23] Josh, your team spends a lot of time thinking about the role technology can play in improving health care outcomes. Can you tell our listeners why it’s such an important space?

Josh Nelson [00:01:33] Yeah Jim, technology it’s so critical in improving health care outcomes and I use the term outcome very broadly. It’s a better outcome for all stakeholders. Whenever we talk about health care THL, we always think about at least three different stakeholders. Certainly the patient is one critical stakeholder, but as we hear from Jane, technology can provide better outcomes for conditions doctors and clinicians work under. They’re a really important stakeholder. And of course another stakeholder that I think about the health care system, the payers, often the government through Medicare or Medicaid. Technology it’s really improving outcomes for them and they’re a really important stakeholder.

At THL, we’ve been longtime investors in health care IT would partnered with lots of innovative companies like Intermedix or Qventus or IMO, Nextech. One of our companies, IMO, it recently acquired a natural language processing company being spun out of a university Texas health system. Now they have this team of data scientists leveraging the latest AI models, helping us accelerate our product roadmap. They’re helping us serve leading healthcare systems like Mass General Brigham.

So our companies, they’re really using technology to improve the system at the ground level. Lot of people ask us: are people in the health care ecosystem, where will automation and AI and technology impact health care? I think that what we see in our investing, what we hear from Jane in the discussion, the question, it’s almost the inverse. Are there any parts of health care that aren’t going to be impacted by these tools? I don’t think there are many. Take the health care system through the lens of the hospital. Jane talks a lot about how Mass General Brigham, other leaders probably like them. They feel that they can use technology to be more present, actually provide more time, more empathy, more compassion for their patients. And that actually, too, is a very essential part of improving health care outcomes.

Jim Carlisle [00:03:35] What really stood out to me as well is the use of AI to improve pathology. The ability to diagnose patients earlier and faster can be a real game changer alongside all of the other innovation that Jane’s team at Mass General Brigham is driving. I’m ready to hear more. Should we get started?

Syndie Kim [00:03:53] Absolutely. Here we go. Hi Jane, thanks alot for joining us today. I know you’ve gear headed innovation across leading corporations throughout your career in and outside of health care. Could you help us understand your trajectory to dates and some of your career highlights, including your work at Mass General Brigham?

Jane Moran [00:04:18] Yes. Syndie thank you. And thank you for having me on your podcast. I’m the chief information and digital officer for Mass General Brigham. I’ve been here almost two years. Prior to this, I was the CIO and CTO for Unilever. I did that for about seven years. And then prior to that I was the chief information officer for Thomson Reuters and I had a series of senior technology roles at Thomson Reuters for about 15 years. I started out my career in financial services as a programmer, so I was building out portfolio management and trading platforms. So a long history of technology and believe it or not, there’s a lot of synergy between financial services, consumer products and health care. I’m really excited about the opportunities in health care and specifically at Mass General Brigham.

Syndie Kim [00:05:13] Could you tell us a little bit more about the similarities and differences of work and opportunities that you see at Mass General.

Jane Moran [00:05:22] In terms of how we manage data and we manage a lot of data in health care that is very similar to financial services. We need real time data and we need a lot of analytics using sophisticated technology tools to actually help provide analysis very similar to the financial services industry. And if you think about who we’re serving at Mass General Brigham, our patients, they are consumers. And I believe we need to do a better job in understanding our patients and their needs and serving them in a digital way much more efficiently. What does the consumer expect when they use digital to provide a transaction? That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re really trying to do things that make lives better and easier.

Syndie Kim [00:06:16] Jane, could you frame some of the challenges that hospitals today face in terms of being able to deliver accessible and high quality patient care?

Jane Moran [00:06:27] From a technology and a digital perspective, I do think we need a better job in helping to match patients to care team members. Once they come in the door we provide wonderful care. Our clinicians are amazing and the care here is tremendous. But it’s all the stuff around it. It’s scheduling the visit, which is a big problem. It’s getting your information combined from your former health care. You move to Massachusetts or New Hampshire and managing all of your data together. It’s helping you find specialty care, and it’s also about providing equitable care. So we need to do a better job around the administration, around managing you as a patient, you as a care team member, you as a researcher, even you as an employee in the Mass General system. And how do we help you with digital tools to make that better? And I think that’s the big opportunity in health care. Managing your life and making it easier to make those transactions I think is important. Again, I can compare it to banking. You have a number of ways to do your banking. You can go to a bank and talk to someone. You can do it through a browser on your laptop. You can do it through an app on your phone. And there’s a number of different transactions that you can do. And we want to make health care the same way. There’s a lot of visits that we could do virtually and make it very easy. There’s a reason that you have to go in and actually physically see a doctor, and sometimes all you need to do is communicate with your physician online. And so we’re trying to make that process seamless and make it easier on everyone involved.

Syndie Kim [00:08:20] What are some of the examples of digital tools that you provide to consumers or prospective patients today?

Jane Moran [00:08:28] In a health care system, there’s something called an electronic health record, and our electronic health record that we use at Mass General Brigham is called Epic. And it’s a big standard platform and it does an awful lot. Our clinicians live in it every day. We have about 70,000 people that log into Epic on a regular basis and it starts there. That’s the tool that we use and it’s an extension of that, there’s something called MyChart, which is an application for our patients. So some transactions can be done through MyChart. We’ve rebranded it, we call it Patient Gateway here. It does a few things. You see your test results and see your next appointment. And we’ve added things like electronic check in and we’ve improved the transparency around paying your bill and making it easier to pay a bill. We are even working on things to make it easier to set up appointments online and that is something that we’re really working hard at in terms of making that process easier for our patients.

Syndie Kim [00:09:38] And Jane, how does data come into play here for making the patient experience better once they get to the hospital?

Jane Moran [00:09:45] There’s a lot of ways data could be better here, is just look at all the care team members that we have at Mass General Brigham. And if you’re coming into the state new like I was a year and a half ago, you need to find a new primary care physician. And matching yourself to a primary care physician is not the easiest thing in the world anywhere right now. And so we’re working on a digital way to make that process matching you and your needs. We’re calling it Find a Doctor, but it’s really about finding care. Something else we’re working on, I think that’s been really important that we’ve released this year was Virtual Urgent Care. So you have an urgent care. It’s a Sunday. You’re not quite sure if you need to go in. You don’t have a lot of options, but to go to an emergency room or wait to make an appointment with your primary care physician on a Monday. So we have established an online way to have Virtual Urgent Care so that you can be seen virtually by a primary care physician or a clinician that will help you with whatever you have going on and make a recommendation. Those are the ways that we’re using data.

Another way, though, is on research and Mass General Brigham does a lot of research. So let’s bear in mind that we have over two million patients and we have a lot of data in our system. And the first thing I’m going to say for anyone listening is we’re HIPAA compliant and we’re super secure around making sure our patient data is private. There’s a lot of richness in that data, and many of our patients are subscribing to sharing their patient data in an anonymous way for research. And that’s really important because we’ve used that research data to apply breakthroughs in science to help resolve our patient needs. So to come up with cures for diseases or solutions for treatments, that’s really important to us. I think that there’s a lot of ways that data can be used effectively, both in treatment and also in helping our patients just understand, giving them more knowledge around. Like I said, finding care. There’s one last area I think data is really important is just the wellness story. There’s been a lot of work on the treatment of diseases in coming in because there’s a problem. But I think more and more we’re focusing on that data element from our patients to understand what keeps us healthy. And I think there is a big opportunity in the digital world in technology to help our patients in that regard.

Josh Nelson [00:12:41] Hearing from Jane, it’s very clear that the data and the technology that leverages that data can make a really material impact on both the quality of health care and the ease of deliver. At an institution like Mass General Brigham, with over two million patients each year, it’s a really critical breakthrough.

Syndie Kim [00:12:59] Absolutely, Josh. You can have the best health care experts in place, but so much depends on the infrastructure that supports their work. Matching the best practitioners and researchers with best in class technology is a pretty powerful combination.

Josh Nelson [00:13:13] You’re right. It’s a theme we see again and again. Technology is impacting so many parts of health care. Yes, the administrative part and automating tasks to make them more efficient, more effective. The clinical side, as Jane talked about, helping a doctor get to the right diagnosis with the right patient. We’re just beginning to see the power of technology to impact that. I’m really excited to hear more about the specific automation tools that they’re putting to work inside Mass General Brigham. Let’s hear more from Jane.

Syndie Kim [00:13:50] I know there’s lots of systems and tools you provide to doctors, nurses and other health care providers so that they can focus on the care itself and be more efficient while delivering the best care. Could you maybe talk through some of those tools and technologies that you’re looking to adopt at Mass General Brigham?

Jane Moran [00:14:09] I would say probably one of the most important things that we’ve done recently is improve communication on the floor of the hospital with tools like valves. So making secure texting easier for our clinicians to communicate while they’re on the floor. Again, security of our patient data is a number one importance for us, and so making it easier for our care team members to communicate and giving them the tools. When you check in to the nurse’s station, you can get a temporary phone for your shift and actually use the phone as part of the tool set. It’s running tools that run our electronic health record on them, but it makes it easier for our clinicians to do their job. There’s a number of other things just from timekeeping systems and simplifying that. You can’t imagine the administrative burden that our care team members have, and what has been both a blessing and a curse is the ability for our patients to text their care team members. And while that’s super positive, because we love to have that communication, sometimes it becomes too much for our care team members to come home at night and answer three hours worth of emails.

So we’re using a lot of technology to actually triage the emails and see if there are some automated ways to answer questions, easy things that we can get back to our patient effectively, efficiently. And it’s a win win for everybody. We can answer the questions quickly and our clinicians, it takes the burden off of them to do their email. Because of the requirement to documents, there’s a lot of regulation in health care, as you can imagine. We’re experimenting with tools like ambient documentation. All that means is you’re using a phone to record the exchange between a patient and a provider. And then we’ve got the artificial intelligence behind the scenes that actually transcribes that. Everything needs a human intervention. The clinician needs to review the note. But we’re doing quite a bit of that in trial right now, and it’s been well received. And there’s a number of other things. The tools to record things like your vaccines, are you up to date? Those things in the past you’d have to log into a system and it would be complicated. And those are easy wins for us to put apps out there for our clinicians to make it easier for them to log those things. So I think about a lot of the administrative burden that our care teams go through and we’re trying to come up with digital solutions that just make their lives easier. That is our goal.

Syndie Kim [00:17:02] One of the articles I read recently around Mass General Brigham is how you use intelligent automation and digital workers to be able to automate a lot of the administrative processes that goes on. Could you maybe talk through that?

Jane Moran [00:17:17] This is called Robotic Process Automation, but we also use other tools in our artificial intelligence. Robotics Process Automation is exactly what it sounds like. You’re taking different processes between systems, and we have over 3,000 systems at Mass General Brigham. You need to run a process. Many times it runs across numerous systems. It’s called RPA, and we just take those algorithms from one system to another and we combine them and we write a script and automate. And a lot of times when we automate a process like this, you want to keep track of who did the process. Think of paying an invoice. That’s a great reason to use RPA. We need to look at a number of different systems. If everything ticks and ties will pay the invoice, we record that application of that RPA as a person, a digital worker to keep track of who actually did the transaction. Artificial intelligence refers to the development of computer algorithms that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, like learning, reasoning, perception, and decision making. That’s different than RPA. RPA is we want you to do these five things in a row and here are the requirements and go do it and the system goes and doesn’t.

Think of AI, so there’s more thought process involved in the computer can learn. We can make AI usable by always having some sort of human intervention. I think AI augments what we do as humans and makes our lives easier. That’s how I would envision using AI, and I think we can do things like I said improving care delivery. So taking the burden off of care team members so they can spend more time with the patients, improvements in efficiency and effectiveness, taking costs out of health care, administrative costs so that we can put it back into the things that matter for our patients. And then using some of this technology to accelerate research and education.

Syndie Kim [00:19:35] That makes a ton of sense. Could you talk through some of the biggest opportunities that you see with the AI?

Jane Moran [00:19:42] Yeah, absolutely. I think about it on the patient side and we were just talking about find a doctor. You don’t want to just click a set of boxes. That’s like, I live in Massachusetts and in Boston and I’m over 50 and whatever, right? What you’d like to do is have some natural language processing in there. Like I just moved to Boston and I’m 51 and I need to see a dermatologist in the next 30 days because I think I have a suspicious rash and I needs to take Aetna insurance.

So there are all these conditions that today AI would benefit in, in you want to see a list who’s available now. Like I need to see somebody, maybe it’s okay to wait eight months to see a clinician, but it would be nice to know if anybody has any presenting appointments today. And so I think that’s how we can use some of this on the patient’s side. Vaccine scheduling, being proactive, like how many times have you gone to your primary care doctor and they tell you that you need to have all these follow up appointments and then you make a phone call and the call drops, or it takes an hour to schedule the appointment. It shouldn’t be like that. It should be like you just go online and you use the technology. And if the doctor that you were referred to is not available, that you find another doctor right away with an appointment that takes your insurance and is five miles from your house or less, not across town.

So that’s on the patient side. I think on our care team side, we’re using AI to assist with administrative tasks. What are things that they’re doing today, keeping track of, that we can take and automate and streamline those workflows and make their lives easier. And I think that’s been our focus there. On the researchers, I think that there’s an awful lot we can do on the research side. First of all, we’ve got 20,000 researchers at least, and it sounds crazy. They’re doing all this great research. But what we’re trying to do right now is figure out how we can look across all of the research that’s going on to see if there’s similarities in the research where if you were to combine research projects, that would be a benefit to the organization or an unlock to new discoveries and breakthroughs and also looking outside Mass General Brigham this is a very friendly environment in health care. I love it. Where people do a lot of collaboration. So figuring out how we can use AI to share data. We have a big data set. There’s other health care organizations that have big data sets. How can we combine our data sets in an anonymous way for the benefit of coming up with solutions, cures, treatments? And last but not the least, search to see employees. Think about all the different systems your benefits, logging your time, you know, your vaccines or you changed your address. And I know it sounds funny because your listeners are probably saying, “This is super easy for my phone bill because I just log on and I can go change my address.” But many of these administrative systems are complex because they’re holding loads and loads of data.

Syndie Kim [00:23:03] I think that’s a great segway. Jane. I know we talked a lot about, you know, software systems, digital tools, data, to be able to enhance patient care. But what other examples are you seeing in terms of devices or hardware or more connected devices that enables innovation?

Jane Moran [00:23:25] Yeah, I mean, one of the things we’re doing right now is in our institutions, we have a lot of biomedical devices and only about I’d say less than 10 percent of those are actually connected to our electronic health record. And so it’s not necessarily a problem, but it just was never connected. And you get all that data and then many times it has to be retyped into a different system. And so it’s this duplication of work that I think those are things that, you know, that would make a big difference.

Syndie Kim [00:24:00] How does automation contribute to practitioner satisfaction? What are some of the feedback that you’re getting firsthand in your role?

Jane Moran [00:24:08] So I mentioned biomedical devices is an opportunity for us to automate and take that data automatically and put it into our electronic health record. We’re moving those administrative burdens so our clinicians can spend more time with the patients. There’s a lot more we can do. We want to make it easier for them to schedule time themselves. And there’s a benefit to our patients because if our clinicians can schedule their day and have more room in their day, then it makes it easier for our patients to find visits. And so I think those are all interconnected. What we’re doing, we’re upgrading all of our call center technology. We have 2,000 phone numbers at Mass General Brigham. With all the digital tools, do we really need 2,000 phone numbers and couldn’t our patients and our clinicians do for themselves in some areas? And the answer is yes. We get that feedback from our clinicians like rather do more things online or automating a lot of our human resources processes, a lot of our financials processes, making it easier for our team members.

And on the patient’s side, this whole idea around finding care, finding a doctor and deciding where you’re going to have the care, right, closer to my house. I need to take the bus. I have somebody driving me. I want a virtual appointment. We have people that get assigned an MRI and drive two hours to go get an MRI. And that doesn’t make sense because we’ve got MRI machines all over the state of Massachusetts. So we’re trying to figure out again, some of this technology is making it easier for our patients and our care team members to get those kinds of tests done more quickly and actually more conveniently for our patients.

Syndie Kim [00:26:07] Jane, on the flip side, what are some of the biggest obstacles you face when looking to implement change and newer innovative technologies?

Jane Moran [00:26:19] So while the things I’m talking about haven’t been done in the past, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a desire to do them. And I think from a technology perspective, always one of the biggest obstacles is finding the money to do these big programs of work. And believe me, the money does exist. Like I said, we support 3,000 systems. So part of the way that we can afford to do some of these things is get very clever about how we’re doing the work. And by that I mean we’ve gone to a platform strategy and we’re working with the top 20 technology companies in the world. So we’re moving away from customizing everything to partnering with the tech companies and using their platforms as the starter.

Syndie Kim [00:27:07] How do you approach change management, for example, when you try to implement a new tool or a new process within the care teams?

Jane Moran [00:27:15] I’m a technologist, but I think I’ve learned over the years that you can’t work in isolation of the people that you serve. So I spend two days a month walking around our hospitals, our institutions with our care teams, biomedical device teams, whomever, and finding out what they do, how they’re using the technology. And I think, honestly, that has been a great way to understand what they need and how they can benefit from the technology. And to me, in terms of change management, understanding where your community is coming from, whether that’s your patient, your care team, your employee, or your researcher here. Really understanding their needs is the most important thing. Then I think the change actually happens naturally, because what we’re trying to do is collaborate. This is a team sport and I say that a lot. If we were here just developing pool code, then we should go work for a software company. But we’re not. We’re in service. Within the digital team at Mass General Brigham, we want to make people’s lives better, truly. And I think just leading with that, it does change the culture and it makes it easy in terms of change management to introduce change.

Syndie Kim [00:28:47] Awesome, Jane. One last question for me and I have an open ended question. How do you envision the hospital of the 21st century?

Jane Moran [00:28:54] We’re doing an awful lot on computer visioning, automating things like pathology. Essentially, we’re using these AI tools to make it easier and better to diagnose disease. And I think that’s really important because those are in play now. Comparing photos of a lung to anticipate lung cancer two years before you would have done with just a radiologist reading a screen. There are improvements in intelligence that are predictive. And I think actually that’s where you’re going to see a lot of the innovation. Our researchers are doing incredible things. I think in imaging there’s a huge unlock.

Syndie Kim [00:29:39] This is great. That’s that’s been truly eye opening.

Jane Moran [00:29:42] Thank you for the opportunity today.

Syndie Kim [00:29:44] Not at all. Thank you for your time, Jane.

Jim Carlisle [00:29:49] Well, that was really fascinating. Thanks, Syndie. And I think as I listen to your conversation today, I was thinking through a couple of things. First, everyone nationally seems to talk a lot about health care costs and that’s something that sounds like we believe automation could really help. And, and second, I think a lot about my patient experience at hospitals, doctor’s offices, etc.. And, you know, sure feels like we all have that memorable time of sitting in a doctor’s office for hours upon end and seemingly seeing everybody go up to the counter, even though they showed up after. It feels like from your conversation that the quality of care can also improve as a result of automation. What did you think was the most interesting about some of those comments?

Syndie Kim [00:30:37] For sure, Jim. The key take for me was how much opportunity, automation and technology can really bring to our health care system while improving the experience of both patients and workers. The one thing that really resonated personally is how patient access to care can be expanded through the digital channel with one more consumer oriented user experience and to better matching algorithms. As a young professional, I often find myself lost in trying to find the right care at the right time. So it’s not just about the convenience factor, but also about improving outcomes down the road. Josh I’m really curious as to how you think about AI and technology developing research and diagnostic tools within the hospital system.

Josh Nelson [00:31:26] I think that’s a really interesting question, and I think all of us have probably now heard the quote, but I think it’s really relevant. AI take radiology, for example. AI will not replace radiologists, but radiologists who use AI will replace radiologists who don’t. I do think that that’s the right framework to think about.

Jim Carlisle [00:31:48] So one of the other things Syndie I was thinking about is just how technology can improve the actual employee experience. And you know, I know note taking is probably a really fun part of all of our jobs, but being able to couple data and information with technology probably reduces some of the parts of of the job that practitioners really don’t enjoy. It’s not about the patient facing care or improving outcomes for the individual, but more about the grind associated with health care admin. It seems like automation is a good solve for for many of those things.

Syndie Kim [00:32:27] Yes, Jim, I think health care is pretty unique in terms of the regulatory requirements around documentation and the burden that presents to health care workers. In addition to that, most of the biomedical devices that generate the data are actually not connected to the EHR today, which requires manual entry of data and sometimes multiple duplicative entry of data. I think automating administrative tasks can can really help alleviate some of those burdens and result in meaningful efficiency gains. I actually came across a survey that mentioned physicians on average spend more than 15 hours per week on paperwork. And I think technologies like voice to text leveraging AI can be a huge help for physicians on the documentation front, and this can really give them back valuable time to spend more on patient care and frankly give them time to recharge themselves to avoid potential burnout.

Josh Nelson [00:33:28] Absolutely. And this is a problem we hear so much about. And Jane talks about physician and clinician burnout. In many of these cases, I think technology can both create some of the issue and then we can use technology to solve. So you commented on how much time is taken by clinicians. I think it’s about half of their time now is spent on administrative tasks, answering emails, entering in data, and only half is spent with the patient. So those were great tools to have email and to have these EMR platforms that capture all this clinical data. But physicians spend a lot of time doing that at this point, and many of these tasks can be automated or AI can shrink the time required to do them dramatically.

I was having a conversation with someone recently about prior authorizations. This is when a doctor might decide that a patient needs an MRI or they need a certain expensive drug therapy. Often they need to submit a request to the insurance company ahead of time outlining why this expensive path is appropriate for the patient, enabling the payer to approve the reimbursement of it before this expensive treatment is is provide. This can be a very time consuming task for a doctor, but there are tools that are going to be able to use AI that can meaningfully assist the doctor in capturing the data required to make that request that would then be able to review and edit and submit. This will be a huge benefit to the doctor and the burnout issue we’re talking about.

Syndie Kim [00:35:00] On the research front, I think there’s a ton of data that’s out there that’s being created across research projects across the globe, but historically there wasn’t a great way for researchers to collaborate and share that data. And I think there can be massive opportunity for breakthrough research if there is a better way for researchers to leverage the data that already exists through AI and in advanced data analytics.

Josh Nelson [00:35:29] Absolutely. There’s so much to be done here. We’ve been an investor in companies that run clinical trials for years at THL, and we’re seeing how this data, this research is changing the game here. We have an investment, for instance, now in a company called IMO. IMO’s a company that integrates into the EMR system. It normalizes all the complicated data sources inside a health system. This normalizes data, it’s a tremendous source of value and information. There’s a whole segment of research now called Real World Evidence. I think about COVID and think about the amazing work that the health system did to run these clinical trials on thousands of people who took the Pfizer or Moderna drug. Some took the placebo, some took the actual drug. We could see whether it worked after six or nine months. I think there were 45,000 people in the clinical trial for Pfizer. That’s a lot. But then think about this. There are five billion people worldwide who have taken a vaccine at this point. That’s a giant data set. We’re going to learn over time where the vaccine was most effective, what had the biggest side effects, how long the immunity last. That’s five billion different data points that can’t be done an excel spreadsheet, this big data and AI’s going to really change how we analyze these topics.

Jim Carlisle [00:36:53] It’s Jim Carlisle again. I’d like to thank Josh, Jane and Syndie for this fascinating and informative discussion. And to our listeners, I really appreciate everyone’s time today. Automation in Action is brought to you by THL. To learn more about our cross-sector strategy to uncover opportunities in emerging technologies, visit thl.com/automation.

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