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How Data Science is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

Curren Katz, Senior Director for Data Science & Project Management at Johnson & Johnson, discusses how the healthcare industry presents a set of unique challenges for data science, including how to manage and work with sensitive patient information and accounting for the real-world impact of AI and machine learning on patient care and experience.

Jun 2022
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Key Takeaways


Despite its unique challenges, the healthcare industry is adopting data science at scale to drive core business decisions and solve problems in diagnostics, operations, clinical trials, patient care, and more.


Empathy is a vital expertise for data scientists in healthcare so they can accurately identify, assess, and mitigate biases in technology and algorithms before they affect patients.


Alignment on a shared vision and increasing collaboration and communication between departments is key to succeeding at in large matrixed organizations.

Key Quotes

Data literacy goes both ways in an organization. Data scientists need business literacy to understand how a clinician is inputting data and how they're interacting with an EMR system, or how on the insurance side, a care manager is identifying and reaching out to insured patients to help them coordinate their care and manage a chronic disease. Data scientists have to understand how that data comes in. Conversely, if data scientists show the value of the data to those delivering care, that part of the healthcare ecosystem is going to see the value and be able to work with them.

I'm really excited about the capabilities that are evolving around fairness, both being able to detect bias in the algorithm, and fixing that on the fly and at scale. It will empower data science, AI, and machine learning in healthcare, and it brings value to patients because we can make sure they're getting quality care that is fair. We're considering things that maybe we haven't been great at in the past and maybe this can make medicine, or any field within it, better.

About Curren Katz

Photo of Curren Katz
Curren Katz

Curren Katz is the senior director for data science, portfolio management at Johnson and Johnson. She has over 10 years of leadership experience across both the US and Europe and has led more than 20 successful data science product launches in the payer, provider, and pharmaceutical spaces. Curren also brings her background as a cognitive neuroscientist to data science, with research in neural networks, connectivity analysis, and more.

Photo of Adel Nehme
Adel Nehme

Adel is a Data Science educator, speaker, and Evangelist at DataCamp where he has released various courses and live training on data analysis, machine learning, and data engineering. He is passionate about spreading data skills and data literacy throughout organizations and the intersection of technology and society. He has an MSc in Data Science and Business Analytics. In his free time, you can find him hanging out with his cat Louis.


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