Achieve & Acquia Spark Conversation around Machine Learning and Healthcare

For more than ten years, Achieve, an Acquia partner, has been bringing innovative portal solutions to healthcare providers with a user-centered focus. They make the most complex web development projects possible for companies like Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Universal Music Group, Dexcom, The Recording Academy, and Scripps Translational Science Institute. Achieve sought out Acquia to participate in their latest Digital Health Innovations (DHI) event because of Acquia’s involvement with technical trends like machine learning that are currently impacting the healthcare industry. Katherine Bailey, Principal Data Scientist at Acquia, was the featured speaker at the event. Like past DHI events, this one continued Achieve’s aim of bringing the San Diego tech, healthcare, and life science communities together through thought leadership.
Katherine Bailey speaking at DHIKatherine Bailey taking questions from the audience at DHI

Machine Learning Today

The emergence of touch points in our digital world including the Internet of Things (IoT), the multitude of devices consumers own, and mobile applications, has led to an enormous growth of data. All of these touch points constantly track and store valuable data about consumers, however in order for this data to be useful, machine learning must be utilized. When broken down machine learning can be understood as a form of artificial intelligence that is able to:
  • Learn from data
  • Recognize patterns
  • Apply that intelligence to new data without interference from a human

Machine Learning in Healthcare

Within the realm of healthcare, machine learning is a key player for the future of the industry. With over 2 petabytes of cancer genome data available, utilizing machine learning can help researchers:
  • Understand cancer
  • Identify drivers of tumor growth from analyzing data
  • Predict the most effective treatment for specific cancer types
  • Improve diagnostics
  • Predict outcomes
Physicians can improve their practices and create more personalized and custom patient care by having machine learning as an additional tool at their disposal. Katherine provided insights into the current initiatives of machine learning in the healthcare space to paint a picture of the possibilities and and potential for the industry: IBM Watson: When IBM decided to launch IBM Watson, the cognitive technology for machine learning, they chose to focus on the healthcare industry. Their initiative for genomics can be described as, “Bringing the promise of precision medicine to more cancer patients, Watson can interpret genetic testing results faster and with greater accuracy than manual efforts.” Path AI: Path AI is a startup founded by researchers who won a competition on diagnosing breast cancer through reducing the error rate in diagnosis by 85%. The researchers went on to create Path AI which develops artificial intelligence applications to improve diagnostics. i2B2: i2B2 is a NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing based at Partners HealthCare System. They are developing a scalable informatics framework that would enable clinical data researchers to use the existing clinical data for discovery research. i2B2 offers a web-based tool for researchers to ask questions like “Of the last 10,000 women ages 40-50 years old diagnosed with cancer, what were the treatments offered and their outcomes?” Researchers at Stanford: Researchers at Stanford are currently training neural networks to distinguish between benign, malignant, and non-neoplastic lesions for the dermatology industry. Stanford is also using data to predict when an intervention is needed in the ICU to ensure it’s done on time.

The Connection Between Machine Learning at Acquia & Drupal 8

Acquia is currently leveraging machine learning through the launch of Acquia Lift. Lift unifies content and customer data from multiple sources to deliver real-time solutions for consumers across any device. This allows for a personalized and contextualized buyer’s journey by taking consumer data about interests and behaviors into account. By launching Lift on Drupal 8, Acquia is able to deliver these personalized digital experiences to increase conversions and improve bottom-line results. DHI events take place quarterly. The next event topic will center around the resources in San Diego that are available to promote the success of healthcare startups and will feature Venture Capitalists and successful startup entrepreneurs. The event is scheduled for May 4th in Carmel Valley, San Diego. Register to attend on our event page here.