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Thursday, August 13 • 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Healthtech: How Technology Is Influencing Healthcare And Vaccine Supply Chain

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COVID-19 has changed the way we live. Technology in healthcare has a long history, and there has been a trend towards tele-medicine pre-virus. That movement has been accelerated. There are also changes in supply chain and vaccine distribution, as well as new discoveries in women’s health. This track offers an introduction to some of the cutting edge work being done amidst our new normal.

AI in Healthcare
Anitha Lakshman 
Although Artificial intelligence (AI) is touching every sphere of our lives, especially in the healthcare domain, its impact is truly life changing. Secondary research reveals, jointly public and private sector investment in healthcare is expected to reach $ 6.6 billion by 2021, encompassing areas such as healthcare, clinical research, drug development and insurance. Although human physicians will not be replaced by AI doctors however, AI will definitely prove useful in simplifying clinical decision especially in the area of radiology. Through imitation of human cognitive functions, it enhances the sector’s availability of both, structured such as image, genetic and electrophysiological data and unstructured data such as clinical notes and medical journals and also analytical techniques through machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), respectively.

To Boldly Go Where No Human Has Gone Before – A Connected Health Artificial Intelligence Network By Women, For Women
Ramkumar Hariharan 
The majority of vaccine stockouts in low and middle-income countries are the result of inaccurate forecasts (World Health Organization, 2017). A stockout is more than an empty shelf; a stockout represents a child who will not receive vaccination. A stockout is a life; a child unable to be vaccinated due to a system failure. With no alternative in view, ministries of health have accepted double-digit rates of vaccine wastage in the hope of increasing coverage. Supply chains can do better. Supply chains can machine learn to anticipate shifts in consumption. Stockouts and wastage increase the financial burden of health ministries. Reducing stockouts and cutting wastage means saving lives. macro-eyes was awarded Global Grand Challenges funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID to design and pilot the first predictive supply chain for vaccines. The goal: maximize childhood vaccination coverage and minimize vaccine wastage by accurately predicting utilization in the month ahead, translated into vaccine deliveries that anticipate the number of children who will arrive at sites to be vaccinated. Existing models for determining appropriate vaccine supply are either static, assuming that tomorrow will look like today or vaccine supply-chains rush to restock depleted supply, working at great cost to address problems that are tragically past. Backwards-facing supply chains do not prepare for the supply needs of the weeks ahead. In work in Tanzania with PATH, the Tanzania Ministry of Health, and district leadership, macro-eyes has demonstrated the ability to improve by 70% on the best model for vaccine forecasting on the market. Put another way, macro-eyes enables the Tanzania Ministry of Health to see into the future (and improve it) with 70% sharper vision. We have since expanded this to approach into a connected health AI network (CHAIN) to include several other key links of the supply chain. How does all this connect to FemTech ? At macro-eyes, women are on both ends of this technology! Something tech has struggled with for a long time! Women are an important part of designing, building and deploying this technology. And the technology is really focused on enabling health services that are delivered and stewarded by women (mothers drive vaccinations) to their patients or children.


Anitha Lakshman

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Northeastern University
avatar for Ramkumar Hariharan

Ramkumar Hariharan

Head of Applied Artificial Intelligence, macro-eyes
Ram Hariharan is head of applied artificial intelligence at macro-eyes and affiliate professor at Northeastern University. A data scientist, story teller and public speaker, Ram has a long track record of applying state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to effectively tackle... Read More →

Thursday August 13, 2020 1:00pm - 2:30pm PDT