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  • Empiric Health on More Efficient Solutions for Bloated U.S. Healthcare Industry: More Intelligent Tomorrow, Episode #12

Empiric Health on More Efficient Solutions for Bloated U.S. Healthcare Industry: More Intelligent Tomorrow, Episode #12

November 24, 2020
· 3 min read

The healthcare sector is one of the most pivotal elements of the United States economy, and the COVID-19 crisis has only increased its prominence in our daily lives. Considering healthcare’s consequential status, it is alarming to take a look at U.S. economic and budgetary statistics. Empiric Health’s CEO Rick Adam and CTO Justin Schaper recently joined the DataRobot More Intelligent Tomorrow podcast, hosted by Ari Kaplan, Director of AI Evangelism and Strategy at DataRobot. Rick Adam laid out the reality in numbers:

“We’re on the verge of having 20% of the gross domestic product, the GDP in the United States be spent on healthcare. That’s roughly twice what any other developed nation spends on healthcare. And to be kind, I would say our results are sort of average. So, we spend twice as much as any other developed nation for kind of average results.”

The numbers support Adam’s points:

  • Healthcare spending accounted for 17.7% of the economy in 2018, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with total U.S. health spending exceeding $3.6 trillion,  or $11,172 of health spending per person.
  • National health spending is expected to reach $6.2 trillion and account for nearly one-fifth of GDP by 2028, according to
  • The healthcare sector now employs 11 percent of American workers, and accounts for 24 percent of government spending, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • In 2018, the U.S. spent nearly twice as much as the average OECD country, according to 2019 OECD Health Statistics. The second-highest ranking country, Switzerland, spent 12.2%.

AI and Technology Can Ensure that Everybody in the U.S. Has Access to High-Quality Healthcare

Rick Adam points to AI as the natural solution. “A lot of things have come together where we can now make technology support making healthcare work a lot better, and the axes that we care about are to make it more affordable, to improve the outcomes on behalf of the patient, and to significantly improve access so that everybody in the country has access to high-quality healthcare.” 

Justin Schaper  expounded on the data challenges facing the industry.

“There is now just a rapid buildup of data and being able to really make good use of that data and turn that into actionable intelligence both real time and retrospectively is one of the biggest challenges that we’ve got in the industry right now. Along with that goes a whole host of other problems, whether it’s data integrity, data validation, or just figuring out how to take the right perspective and looking at that and trying to understand what it tells you. And that’s where data science and some of the newer innovations that really came out of the big data work and social media bring us to a capability that really wasn’t possible just a few years ago.”

Collaboration Between Human Intelligence and Machine Intelligence Is Vital to Improving the Healthcare Industry 

Throughout the podcast, Adam and Schaper point out how AI is improving the efficiency and efficacy of medical records, surgical methods, and value for paying customers. They also spoke about the amazing amalgamation of human intelligence with machine intelligence. Rick Adam states, “We’ve been able to get our team of clinicians, of data scientists and consultants who know how to talk to doctors to collaborate in a way that is much better than it would be if we didn’t blend those various skill sets together. I think we’ve already created some really remarkable breakthroughs in how to use data science to improve healthcare. But it’s the result of the collaboration we’ve already done.”

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants to Run Thousands of Use Cases

Adam also drew on philosophy to emphasize the importance of broad cooperation: “If we can see a little farther, it is because we’re standing on somebody else’s shoulders. So, we’re standing on top of all the other insights that people develop in healthcare.”

Finally, Adam mentioned the role that DataRobot has played in helping Empiric Health revolutionize the way the healthcare industry operates. “And when you get a tool that allows you to run tens of thousands of use cases, automatically you just can’t imagine how much that speeds up getting to the right answer.”

To hear more about how AI, Empiric Health, and DataRobot are saving money for patients while improving medical processes, check out or You can also listen everywhere you already enjoy podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.

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About the author

Value-Driven AI

DataRobot is the leader in Value-Driven AI – a unique and collaborative approach to AI that combines our open AI platform, deep AI expertise and broad use-case implementation to improve how customers run, grow and optimize their business. The DataRobot AI Platform is the only complete AI lifecycle platform that interoperates with your existing investments in data, applications and business processes, and can be deployed on-prem or in any cloud environment. DataRobot and our partners have a decade of world-class AI expertise collaborating with AI teams (data scientists, business and IT), removing common blockers and developing best practices to successfully navigate projects that result in faster time to value, increased revenue and reduced costs. DataRobot customers include 40% of the Fortune 50, 8 of top 10 US banks, 7 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies, 7 of the top 10 telcos, 5 of top 10 global manufacturers.

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