Medical researchers and experts have been adopting data analytics and artificial intelligence into their work, sharpening delivery of healthcare and medical discoveries forward with these technologies. As researchers especially look now to innovate a vaccine for COVID-19 at record pace, incorporating AI and advanced data-driven technologies into research and development is essential. Hear from medical and AI experts across federal agencies to explore the various ways natural language processing, machine learning, robotic process automation and data analytics play a role in revolutionizing the landscape of health and the public.
Artificial Intelligence: New Horizons in Medicine
Gil Alterovitz is the director of the National Artificial Intelligence Institute (NAII) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). NAII seeks to develop AI research and development capabilities at the VA as a means to support veterans, their families, survivors, and caregivers. The Institute also designs and collaborates on large-scale AI research and development initiatives, national AI policy, and partnerships across agencies, industries, and academia. Dr. Alterovitz has led national and international collaborative initiatives for developing novel informatics methods and approaches for integrating clinical, pharmaceutical, and genomic information, from research to point-of-care. He is a member of the Precision Medicine Task Force under the White House’s Office of the National Coordinator. He is also one of the core writers of the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy’s National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan, which was recently updated. The policy supports a national AI initiative and includes an additional strategic priority for public-private partnerships. He has degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon in electrical, biomedical and computer engineering (including a doctorate). He’s a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Computational Health Informatics Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. His work on integrative methods for “big data” in the biomedical informatics space has been published or presented in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications ranging from academic journals and international conferences to three books (including “Systems Bioinformatics: An Engineering Case-based Approach,” ranked #1 in new Amazon bioinformatics category).
Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, is the Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NLM, the center for biomedical and health data science research, is the world’s largest biomedical library and the producer of digital information services used by scientists, health professionals and members of the public worldwide.
Since assuming the directorship in August 2016, Dr. Brennan has positioned the Library to be the hub of data science at NIH and a national and international leader in the field. She spearheaded the development of a new strategic plan that envisions NLM a platform for biomedical discovery and data-powered health. Leveraging NLM’s heavily used data and information resources, intramural research, and extramural research and training programs, Brennan aims for NLM to accelerate data driven discovery and health, engage with new users in new ways, and develop the workforce for a data-driven future.
Her professional accomplishments reflect her background, which unites engineering, information technology, and clinical care to improve the public health and ensure the best possible experience in patient care.
Dr. Brennan came to NIH from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the Lillian L. Moehlman Bascom Professor at the School of Nursing and College of Engineering. She also led the Living Environments Laboratory at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, which develops new ways for effective visualization of high dimensional data.
She received a master of science in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following seven years of clinical practice in critical care nursing and psychiatric nursing, Dr. Brennan held several academic positions at Marquette University, Milwaukee; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A past president of the American Medical Informatics Association, Dr. Brennan was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (now the National Academy of Medicine) in 2001. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the American College of Medical Informatics, and the New York Academy of Medicine.
In 2020, Dr. Brennan was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). The AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a medical and biological engineer.
As the first Chief Data Officer for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Caryl is establishing an office focused on providing more and better access to data and analytics to support OIG’s mission. Her team seeks to improve access to internal and external data; accelerate analytics for use in audits, investigations, evaluations, and compliance oversight; and enhance OIG’s use of data to make more informed decisions.
Prior to joining the HHS OIG, Caryl was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Risk and Decision Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She also previously served as the Operations Research Division Chief at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, and led a team of analysts at the Center for Naval Analyses.
She has a B.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University.
Dr. Caban is the Chief of Clinical and Research Informatics at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). He manages a team of scientists, engineers, researchers, and developers that provide enterprise applications, business intelligence, machine learning, metrics, data, and analytical support to the NICoE Intrepid Spirit Network across 10+ military treatment facilities (MTFs).
Trained as a computer scientist and with over thirteen years of experience in inter-disciplinary clinical and informatics research, he has authored over 50 scientific papers related to clinical informatics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, visualization, and predictive models.
During the last few years he has served in different roles including the Chair of the DHA Enterprise Intelligence and Analytics IPT, the Chair of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Visual Analytics working group, and the Vice Chair of the 2016 IEEE Visualization conference.
In 2018, he received the Defense Health Agency (DHA) Innovation Award and the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS) HealthIT award for his contribution to the Military Health System (MHS). In 2019, the TBI Portal – one of the enterprise applications that he has managed since its inception -- received the Federal HealthIT Innovation award.
He's committed to educating and training our next generation in informatics, ML/AI, and data science. He's an adjunct faculty at the Uniform Services University (USUHS) where he mentors PhD students interested in clinical informatics and he's also an adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Lab where he teaches two of the core classes of the Data Science graduate program.
Anil Chaudhry has over 20 years of progressive leadership experience in technology delivery, operations, and program management in the defense, intelligence, and national security sectors. At the Artificial Intelligence CoE, Chaudhry advises federal agencies on establishing mature data governance and management practices, developing innovative approaches for leveraging data as a strategic asset, and laying the foundation for advancing data discovery, access, and use through artificial intelligence and machine learning. Prior to joining the CoE, Chaudhry served in critical leadership positions within US Customs and Border Protection and as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) at the Defense Business Transformation Agency. Chaudhry served as an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps and as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. Chaudhry was one of three DHS employees selected to attend the National War College in 2016 as part of the DHS Senior Succession Management Program.
Dr. Rohit Chitale joined DARPA as a program manager in 2019. He is an infectious disease epidemiologist with more than 20 years of experience helping national and international organizations establish and lead programs related to infectious disease prevention and eradication, with specific expertise in the design and implementation of disease surveillance systems and the development of new disease control tools.
Before coming to DARPA, Dr. Chitale co-established the Global Disease Detection Operations Center at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first event-based all-hazards surveillance unit at the CDC. He also served as the CDC Country Director in the Republic of South Sudan. In a prior role at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), he established and led the Division of Integrated Biosurveillance within the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center to address capability gaps in DoD biosurveillance and global health security operations. In that role, he led efforts to integrate syndromic, case-based, and event-based disease surveillance systems across civilian, military, and veteran populations to decrease the time to disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment. While at DoD, he helped write the Global Health Security Agenda legislation. Previously, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Chitale co-created The MENTOR Initiative — a public-private partnership designed to test and evaluate (pre-clinical, Phase I, II, and III trials) new vector-borne disease control technologies.
Dr. Chitale has consulted with organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, the World Health Organization (WHO), Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and Thomson Reuters, Inc. He has provided technical expertise to governments in Africa and Asia, and worked with multiple governmental and non-governmental organizations and private sector firms. He is a member of the WHO Virtual Advisory Group on Mass Gatherings, and also serves on the Sterilization Working Group for the Mars Lander Sample Return (Planetary Protection) program for NASA.
Dr. Chitale earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Maryland, a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate degree in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is an alumnus of the Harvard University National Preparedness Leadership Initiative.
For two decades, Ben Cushing has been a leader in emerging technology solutions across multiple industries and is committed to radical innovation in healthcare. Before joining Red Hat, he served as the Chief Technology Officer for MDLogix, a behavioral health IT firm supporting Johns Hopkins Medicine. There he architected and brought to market a behavioral health cloud platform for use with employer, healthcare, and education markets.
In addition to supporting analytics and operations at the National Institutes of Health for 6 years, Cushing had the opportunity to practice a scaled agile framework with Accenture where he led the technical architecture and design for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Electronic Health Management Platform, an industry leading Health Management and Care Coordination platform serving 9 million patients.
His tenure at Accenture began with the acquisition of Agilex, where he designed LSI solutions, developed systems to automate the Post-9/11 GI bill, and supported in-theater data collection and analytics tools. While at Agilex, Ben architected and led the development of a mobile Software Development Kit, still in use today by the VA to produce more than 60 applications.
As CIO, Ms. Evans is responsible for strategically aligning the Department’s Information Technology (IT) personnel resources and assets, including security, infrastructure, and delivery, to support core DHS missions and activities.
Ms. Evans previously served as the first Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). She was sworn in on August 28, 2018, and provided strategic direction, leadership and management to address emerging threats while improving energy infrastructure security and supporting the DOE national security mission.
Prior to being named Assistant Secretary at DOE, Ms. Evans was the national director of the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a public-private partnership focused on building the cyber workforce. She served on the Trump Transition and Landing Teams to develop the management agenda addressing technology initiatives government wide.
Ms. Evans served as the Administrator for the Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during the George W. Bush administration. At OMB, she oversaw nearly $71 billion in annual IT funds, including implementation of IT throughout the federal government. Previously, she served as the CIO for DOE and at the director level with both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Farmers Home Administration.
Ms. Evans holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Arts Public History certificate, and a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from West Virginia University.
Mona G. Flores, MD, is the global head of Medical AI at NVIDIA. She brings a unique perspective with her varied experience in clinical medicine, medical applications and business. She's a board certified cardiac surgeon and the previous chief medical officer of a digital health company. She holds an MBA in management information systems and has worked on Wall Street. Her ultimate goal is the betterment of medicine through AI.
Dr. Behrouz Shabestari is the Acting Director of the Division of Health Informatics Technologies and Director of the NIBIB National Technology Centers Program. He also is Program Director for Optical Imaging and Spectroscopy, and for X-ray, Electron, Ion Beam, and Computed Tomography (CT).
Dr. Shabestari joined the NIBIB in 2015, after 12 years as a Scientific Review Officer at the National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review’s Surgical Sciences, Biomedical Imaging, and Bioengineering Integrated Review Group. There, he was responsible for the review of applications in the development of methods for a wide variety of medical imaging modalities and bioengineering, including single-photon emission CT, positron-emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging/magnetic resonance spectroscopy, ultrasound, CT, photonics, image-guided surgery, computer-aided detection, image recognition algorithms, and hybrid approaches. He was involved in a broad range of application mechanisms, such as R03s, conventional R21s and special R21/R33s, R01s, Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer, Bioengineering Research Partnerships, S10s, and P41 National Resource Center applications. Dr. Shabestari has an extensive experience in the area of industrial and medical imaging.
Dr. Shabestari served as the Director of the Advanced Imaging Group for Edison Industrial Systems Center (EISC) in Toledo, Ohio, from 1988 to 1999. In 1999, Dr. Shabestari established AvantGarde Technology, LLC (AGT), a small business engineering and consulting firm in Toledo, Ohio. While at EISC and AGT, Dr. Shabestari completed more than 90 imaging projects funded by industry directed toward improving quality and reducing costs. His projects included a multidisciplinary grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Technology Program, a technology action fund for the Ohio Department of Development, and a technology development grant from American Display Consortium.
Dr. Shabestari also has served as a full-time Associate Professor of Computer Engineering and Program Director at the College of Engineering at the University of Toledo.
Mr. Thomson serves as the Chief Information Officer of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He works to provide the information technology support needed by researchers on the NIH campus as well as NHLBI funded researchers around the world. He also serves as the co-lead of the NHLBI DataSTAGE program – a cloud based data commons that provides storage and computational resources to the heart, lung, blood and sleep research community. DataSTAGE currently stores 3.2PB of genomic and clinical data for the TOPMed program along with millions of imaging. Prior to this role he serves as the NHLBI’s Chief Information Security Officer and spent most of his career in the commercial world consulting to pharma, insurance, finance and logistics. He has also spent time working in broadcast television, computer animation and has directed an Applied Research Center at a university. He trained at the University of Otago in Dunedin New Zealand and holds a BSc(Hons) in Psychology and a DipGrad in Computer Science.
Craig’s latest area of focus is supporting the build of Acxiom’s COVID-19 repository, developing a geo-temporal structure to frame key COVID-19 dimensions for subsequent integration with brands’ behavioral data, attitudinal data, demographic, lifestage and interests data, and marketing treatments. The primary objective for the repository is assessing and isolating COVID-19 impacts for a variety of use cases.
He has been developing offline and online marketing solutions for more than 20 years, utilizing a variety of statistical and machine learning techniques across multiple industries including healthcare, financial services, travel and entertainment, retail, and consumer packaged goods, all with a very strong focus on maintaining privacy constraints.
Before joining Acxiom, Craig was an adjunct professor in statistics at St John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, for eight years and was co-founder of Quinetix, LLC, which was acquired by Acxiom in November 2008. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in finance and master’s degree in statistics, both from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
- Michael Hoffman, President, GovernmentCIO Media & Research
Advanced Data Analytics
Federal health agencies have made progress in data collection as they have looked to consolidate data centers and modernize electronic health records. With all of this data, agencies are now looking to conduct advanced data analytics and acquire the necessary technologies for it. Top officials discuss how analyzing troves of data improves mission delivery and insights.
- Gil Alterovitz, Director, National Artificial Intelligence Institute, VA
- Anil Chaudhry, Director, AI Implementations, IT Modernization Centers of Excellence, GSA
- Craig Wingate, Senior Director of Analytics, Acxiom
- Moderator: Jason Chong, Director of Data Strategy & Analytics, GovernmentCIO
Accelerating Medical Research with AI
Data is critical to moving forward with medical research. As health researchers look to advance discoveries with diseases like COVID-19, how are they using AI-driven technologies and strategies to accelerate the pace of research?
- Patti Brennan, Director, National Library of Medicine, NIH
- Dr. Mona Flores, Global Head of Medical AI, NVIDIA
- Behrouz Shabestari, Director, NIBIB National Technology Centers Program, NIH
- Alastair Thomson, CIO, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH
- Moderator: Erin Mirsky, Senior Vice President, GovernmentCIO
Data Sharing Practices to Protect Public Health
Public health officials depend on quality data to track and make discoveries about various pathological threats, from the seasonal flu to COVID-19. This panel will discuss how AI is helping federal health leaders ingest and analyze data and use findings from data to prevent and mitigate public health threats.
- Karen Evans, CIO, DHS
- Rohit Chitale, Program Manager, Biological Technologies Office, DARPA, DOD
- Moderator: Alex Brown, Senior Vice President, GovernmentCIO
Defense Health Analytics
- Jesus Caban, Chief, Clinical & Research Informatics, Walter Reed, DHA
- Ben Cushing, Field CTO, Federal Health, Red Hat
- Chris Nichols, Program Manager, Enterprises Intelligence and Data Solutions (EIDS) Program, Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems
- Moderator: Jason Windsor, Chief Health Information Officer, GovernmentCIO
Artificial intelligence isn’t achievable without quality data behind it. As agencies move toward using data as a strategic asset and form a new Federal Chief Data Officer Council, we’ll sit down with agencies’ Chief Data Officers to learn about best practices for collecting and preparing data to achieve successful AI capabilities.
- Caryl Brzymialkiewicz, Chief Data Officer, OIG, HHS
- Ray Deiotte, Chief Data Officer, Global Healthcare and Life Sciences, NetApp
- Kshemendra Paul, Chief Data Officer, VA*
- Moderator: John Romps, Technical Director, GovernmentCIO
- Michael Hoffman, President, GovernmentCIO Media & Research