April 26, 2019

Reimagining Disease Management with AI

The Partners Population Health Perspectives blog aims to share the opinions and ideas of our leadership team on health care topics related to population health management. In this post, Sree Chaguturu, MD, Chief Population Health Officer, shares his thoughts on a recent panel he led at the World Medical Innovation Forum on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Disease Management.  

I recently had the opportunity to moderate a discussion at the World Medical Innovation Forum with a panel of thoughtful industry experts on the potential of artificial intelligence and technology in disease management. While it was a fun opportunity to connect with some former colleagues and industry leaders in a meaningful discussion on stage, we collectively recognized it was an opportunity to dig in to a subject that is relatively taboo in the field of medicine.

Dr. Julian Harris, MD, President, CareAllies helped kick-off our discussion with a definition of disease managementthe optimization of care for a particular condition. That is, in contrast to other industry interventions such as, care management – the caring for complex patients with multiple conditions, or utilization management – the application of appropriateness criteria to the use of imaging and medication.

As clinicians and health care leaders, we intuitively think the theory of disease management should work. If we could provide protocols and/or innovative tools to patients to better manage their diabetes or high blood pressure, shouldn’t they have improved, measurable outcomes? However, in application, disease management to date has not been successful, to the point where disease management efforts have even been stigmatized as a “waste of time.”

As we prepared for the panel discussion, we decided we should utilize our time together to revisit and reimagine disease management, especially given the rise of technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Our collective question being, can and will digital tools will be better than telephonic solutions of the past?

Our discussion followed broadly this arc:

  • Why hasn’t disease management worked so far?
  • Do we have enough data now to improve how disease management works?
  • Who needs to aggregate the data?
  • How can we use the data to create new algorithms for managing disease? And make sure they are equitable?
  • How do we design the future disease management programs so that they engage both providers and patients?

I encourage you to dive in to the thoughtful discussion below and understand how the some of our industry’s thought leaders interpret the challenges of disease management, the potential of technology and their vision for how disease management will engage both providers and patients in the future.


  • Murray Brozinsky, Chief Strategy Officer, Conversa
  • Jean Drouin, MD, CEO Clarify Solutions
  • Julian Harris, MD, President, CareAllies
  • Erika Pabo, MD, Chief Health Officer, Human Edge


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