“Patients want to be seen and be digitally enabled” says Warner Thomas at TieCon 2024

The keynote address at the annual conference was delivered by the Sutter Health CEO alongside Abhinav Shashank of Innovaccer.

Warner Thomas, CEO of Sutter Health, along with Abhinav Shashank, co-founder and CEO of Innovaccer. / Ritu Marwah

Warner Thomas, CEO of Sutter Health, underscored the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping the future healthcare in a keynote address at TiECon 2024. Thomas, who is recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare of 2023, was seen in conversation with Abhinav Shashank, co-founder and CEO of Innovaccer, an AI-powered platform that unifies patient data across systems and care settings.

Shortage of healthcare workers and doctors, need for preventive healthcare and a healthcare experience that is integrated as opposed to fragmented is driving innovation in healthcare, they said.

Thomas said that a decline in telemedicine shows that patients want to be digitally enabled, but at the same time, they want to physically see doctors.

“Successful healthcare systems of the future are going to have ambulatory-focused, large outpatient-focused, physician-driven physical network of assets,” said Warner Thomas. “It is going to be interfaced with, and connected to, a digital system. Patients do not want a digital-only solution. Patients want to be seen and be digitally enabled. We have to have both.”

“Like it is in other industries, people want to book appointments, pay bills online, order things online,” he continued.

The main takeaways from the keynote, said Abhinav Shashank, are that a game-changing fusion of biology and technology is reshaping health technology.
AI-driven biotech-tech integration is redefining patient outreach, insurance, and billing, he said. The power of data beyond digitization is being seen in enhanced care delivery and patient engagement.

Thomas gave the example of the use of AI to notify hypertensive patients with weekly reminders to take their blood pressure medications. “This has helped build preventive care and reduce the cost of health to the patient and healthcare provider.”








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