To understand how machine learning can aid healthcare organizations, healthcare executives first must have a basic grasp of what machine learning is and what it can do.
“Machine learning is about discovering new knowledge,” said Zeeshan Syed, director of the clinical inference and algorithms program at Stanford Health Care and clinical associate professor, anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “At a high level, artificial intelligence is getting an agent, software, to behave like it’s smart. One example might be a thermostat. If it’s cold, the thermostat turns the heat on. That’s a system behaving in a smart way, a very crude form of artificial intelligence. Knowledge you are using is pre-derived and embedded into the device. Machine learning goes a step further: How do we derive this knowledge that we are using? It’s knowledge derived from the data itself.”