APRIL 20, 2020

Advancing Quality | Making Healthcare Simpler

Innovation can’t happen in silos. At Anthem, we recognize the power of partnership – and support innovation inside and outside our walls to drive change. We’ve forged relationships with leading universities and research centers across the country to support our efforts to simplify the healthcare experience for consumers. These academic institutions have some of the brightest minds in their respective fields doing incredible work. Through collaboration, we can harness the power of up-and-coming talent as well as their cutting-edge, transformative research to help redefine the delivery of healthcare services and achieve higher quality care. We’re proud to highlight some of these exciting partnerships and collaborations below.

Working with Stanford’s AI for Health Program to Address Critical Issues in Healthcare

Our affiliated health plan is the initial founding member of the AI for Health affiliation program, a corporate affiliates program within the Stanford Department of Computer Science launched in 2019. This collaboration will utilize healthcare data to develop unbiased artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to improve the efficiency and delivery of healthcare.

More specifically, the collaboration with Stanford will fund research on how AI algorithms and systems can advance healthcare administration, healthcare delivery and wellness. Advancements in patient literacy, patient engagement and healthcare transparency have been identified as the first areas to be addressed through this relationship. Exploring these initial topics is an important step for Anthem in creating new solutions to simplify healthcare for consumers.

Collaboration with Northwestern’s Center for Deep Learning to Help Bring AI to Healthcare

Similar to our relationship with Stanford, Anthem’s collaboration with Northwestern University also centers on AI, but more specifically on AI’s rapidly evolving specialties of machine and deep learning. Anthem is working with the Center for Deep Learning (CDL) at Northwestern, one of the world’s leaders in the field, to help bring this technology to healthcare.

Deep learning allows medical researchers and practitioners to detect and discover patterns in medical images and large clinical datasets that are difficult to replicate with traditional approaches. Applying this technology in real-world settings, such as in healthcare systems, could help us better detect malignant tumors, dermatology abnormalities and the onset of diseases. Deep learning methods are able to correctly recognize these conditions with accuracy on par with and sometimes better than leading human experts, thus improving the diagnosis and treatment outcomes.

Part of this research collaboration involves the development of technology to automate and efficiently deploy deep learning models, while monitoring and maintaining their accuracy and efficiency. The impact of such technology would be significant and highly beneficial to the healthcare industry, as the ongoing research focuses on bringing predictability and consistency of models in production over time. Early focus areas of the research collaboration involve the deployment of machine learning models that can be automatically retrained on medical data that is changing over time and redeployed with certain predefined quality and policy constraints to ensure clinical integrity.

Collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Engineering to Apply Advanced Machine Learning Techniques in Digital Health

Anthem has partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Engineering to develop and apply advanced machine learning models and methods in the rapidly evolving area of digital health. Two areas of initial focus are process mining of healthcare events to identify optimal care delivery patterns and detecting causal relationships in knowledge network representation of medical data. We hope to develop novel methods and models as part of the research partnerships that can be implemented across our digital health initiatives.

Using process mining techniques helps us detect combinations and sequencing of medical procedures and medications that result in significantly better patient outcomes, improving patients’ health and reducing healthcare costs.

Anthem-sponsored Hackathons Harness the Best and Brightest Emerging Talent to Solve Healthcare Challenges

Another way we are working to advance healthcare innovation is by tapping into emerging talent, such as skilled software developers and engineers, from across the world through sponsored hackathons. At the 6th annual HackGT at Georgia Tech, Anthem asked participants to create a health marketplace of the future that generates a personalized, simple and data-driven platform for health services. The first place winner, NurseSpree, is a digital marketplace and personal healthcare tracker where you can find the best medication, track current medications and see a complete medical history.

As part of Anthem’s support of the 2019 HLTH conference, we presented a challenge to design a mobile experience that personalizes diabetes treatment plans and improves consumer engagement. The winner, Nudge, designed a program that helps people at risk for pre-diabetes make long-term lifestyle changes to help prevent disease progression. Leveraging data (e.g. electronic health record data, user-reported data, wearable device data, etc.), Nudge suggests personalized, responsive recommendations for exercise, diet and sleep habits. Consumers receive points for lifestyle changes and can share data with their healthcare team for more personalized care.

We look forward to continuing and expanding our relationships with academic and research institutions as their work will have an impact on the future of healthcare in our local communities as well as the nation. Collaborations like these are examples of how we are integrating the best talent and technology to improve consumers’ health and well-being through innovation.