Profile: Gilan El Saadawi, M*Modal

interviewee

Gilan El Saadawi, MD, PhD, MS
Chief Medical Informatics Officer

THE M*MODAL MISSION

Our mission is creating time to care by transforming the patient-physician relationship and revolutionizing physician workflows with proactive clinical intelligence delivered at the point of care. Accelerating innovation in conversational artificial intelligence (AI), M*Modal brings forward a market-leading platform that also enables physicians to finish routine tasks like EHR documentation, chart search, order entry, etc. with the use of its virtual assistant.

MY BACKGROUND

I am a pathologist by training, and I believe pathologists and radiologists are early adopters of informatics due to the nature of their work. This got me thinking about how I could help other physicians adopt technology which led to my formal training in informatics at the National Library of Medicine, followed by some time in academia. Then I moved into the private sector to focus on bringing the science of natural language understanding (NLU) and clinical informatics out of the academic realm and into pragmatic practice for healthcare professionals. My goal is to provide clinicians with all the benefits of technology without hindering their primary mission of providing high-quality care.

HEALTH IT IS REWARDING

Every day I do something innovative, different and/or cutting-edge – or better still, help save a life with the use technology. We have hundreds of people working in the technology business unit in our Pittsburgh office. I tell our team we can measure success by sales or adoption but the most important criterion is making a meaningful impact.

COMBINING THE TECHNICAL WITH THE CLINICAL

My team is equal parts technical and clinical: every technical decision we make is informed by clinical considerations. While a computer scientist thinks mathematically, a clinician’s thought process is more layered. The best results are achieved by combining the strengths of both these groups and making clinical insights actionable.

ENGAGE END-USERS

The problem with Health IT traditionally is technology development did not actively involve actual end users. Clinicians need to be involved early in the design phase to make sure that the technology enhances and not encumbers their natural workflows.

HEALTH IT HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE HERE

Pittsburgh offers an exciting environment of innovation in healthcare IT. Health IT is fast growing here because of major players like UPMC, AHN, CMU and Pitt in addition to top hospitals and big technology companies. There is a concerted effort to excel and innovate and we should be one of the top HIT cities within a decade.

Up Next: Profile: Michael Becich, Rob Hartman, Joe Marks & Donald Taylor, The Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance

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