“EP140: The Innovation and Disruption of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare with Sajid Ahmed”
by Stacey Richter

Listen to the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

Those who aren’t paying attention to Artificial Intelligence right now are going to find themselves sadly lagging behind the curve – that’s my main takeaway from my conversation with Sajid Ahmed, Chief Information and Innovation Officer, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (Los Angeles). It’s not that AI is perfected, far from it, but the plain fact that you can’t go from zero to done in one step with any AI implementation. So if you want to be on the finish line at the same time as those who are already well out of the AI gate, the time to start your incremental journey was probably about 2 years ago.

Sajid Ahmed is the Chief Information and Innovation Officer of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in South Los Angeles. He is leading the new hospital’s $70 million health information technology initiative and launching an innovation hub on the 42-acre MLK Medical Center Campus.

Mr. Ahmed is a true innovator and pioneer in healthcare information systems. He has unparalleled experience in all aspects of using computer technology and web-based applications to deliver the best quality of medical care to patients, facilitate collaboration among multiple and diverse medical care providers and systems, and increase the efficiency of healthcare environments. He is also a highly respected consultant on innovation, and frequently lectures about entrepreneurism and information technology for healthcare environments.

Mr. Ahmed was formerly the director of health information technology and innovation for L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest public plan serving more than one million Los Angeles County residents through free or low-cost health insurance programs. He was responsible for coordinating, managing and integrating healthcare information technology and eHealth initiatives among multiple users and partners. This includes all medical care providers, community organizations, government agencies, vendors and other health information technologies. He served as vice chair of the organization’s Technical Advisory Committee. One of his most significant contributions to L.A. Care is the creation of HITEC-LA (Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center for Los Angeles County) for electronic health record adoption and implementation for providers throughout L.A. County.

Before leaving L.A. Care, Mr. Ahmed created and launched eConsult in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. eConsult is an innovative telehealth system that allows for virtual consultations and collaboration with specialists. As eConsult expands throughout California and accumulates thousands of end users, it is becoming a national model for the standard for care coordination and access to specialty care in the U.S.

Prior to eConsult, Mr. Ahmed was the visionary behind SelfMD™; developed the ELICIT™ concept (emulating logical inferences of cognition and intuition theory), and was instrumental in getting the U.S. Military Medical Command to adopt advanced diagnostic technologies and electronic health records systems. He also served as co-chair on health IT committees for California’s Health and Human Services Agency, helping to draft the state’s $38.8 million Health Information Technology strategic plan.

Mr. Ahmed has lectured at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Fielding School of Public Health, and as a guest lecturer at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), University of Southern California (USC) and CalState LA. He was honored for his teaching at the USC Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and also was a finalist for the Advanced Business League (ABL) Innovative Leadership Award on Healthcare. Currently he is an advisory board member of the California Health eQuality Initiative based at the University of California, Davis. Earlier this year he was lauded as CIO of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Chief Information & Innovations Officer, Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital, Healthcare Corporation

Former Senior Director, Health Information Technology & Innovation for L.A. Care Health Plan

Former Executive Director & Founder of HITEC-LA, LA County’s Regional Extension Center for EHR Adoption

Director, Safety Net eConsult Program for Los Angeles

Former Interim Chief Information Officer, Healthcare First South LA – ACO


00:00 Artificial Intelligence as a Disruptor in Healthcare.
03:20 The definition of AI.
04:10 AI in 2017.
05:20 Deep Learning as a component of AI.
05:30 Backpropagation Learning.
07:05 What Artificial Intelligence adds to coding.
13:00 “If you have AI looking at Health Plan Data & EMRs, they’ll be able to do predictive analytics.”
14:00 “Some systems that find themselves late to the game may find themselves behind the curve.”
15:15 Where AI fits into Healthcare.
17:20 ‘Augmented Intelligence’ vs. Artificial Intelligence.
18:50 “How we introduce AI tools is really important.”
21:30 IBM and AI.
23:20 Other innovative companies using and implementing AI.
26:00 “You can disrupt.”