Data Transformers Podcast
Data Transformers Podcast
Impact of COVID-19 on digital transformation of education and health

Episode Title : Impact of COVID-19 on digital transformation of education and health

Episode Summary: COVID-19 has accelerated digital information by multiple years in many industries and especially in education and health. UC Irvine Vice-Chancellor Tom Andriola was in the middle of it all. Within 6 months of accepting and defining the first ever Vice Chancellor & Chief Digital Officer of UC Irvine, Tom was thrust into shaping predictive analytics for identifying most likely patients for intensive care based on multiple sets of data and identifying patients who can be treated from home. Similarly, Tom’s team had to help educators who haven’t advanced much on remote learning to ensure that all the students are on par. Going forward, Tom is focusing on ensuring hybrid instruction is part of UCI’s DNA going forward. The episode discussed innovation and the strategic and tactical nature of innovation in great detail. Based on Phillips Health experience, Tom came to a conclusion that Data is a strategy and not just an asset and not just a facilitator and started using his experience at UCI. Given that data is interdisciplinary by nature, UCI team has started investing in Collaboratories where teams from multiple disciplines from UCI and the industry have come together to solve bigger problems.


Topics discussed in this episode:

02:00: Why was the role created? Effective and strategic use of data and information technology. Academic mission, Research mission, Healthcare mission. As per Chancellor, everything about the role should be different by 2025. And the university should be uniquely different by 2030. 

02:57: Covid hit within 6 months. Very sick patients coming in. Lack of ability to see patients in emergency rooms. So Tom had to think very quickly to use technology to scale  the operations. Example: virtual visits. 

04:10: Pulling data together on Covid patients and running predictive algorithms on likelihood of ICU admissions. Identifying patients suitable for infusion treatments. Identifying patients for home care with SPO2 monitors. 

05:00: Hospital at Home initiative. Monitoring from home is connected to hospitals with algorithms to predict adverse events. Be ready to send medical professionals for any interventions. Changed healthcare for ever and what had to happen in 5 years happened in 12 months.

06:20: How did the role evolve or change because of the pandemic? Plans accelerated. Conversations were happening but implementation started early. 

07:22: What did Covid do for the academic side? Covid has thrust UCI into the waters they have been dipping their toes in. Remote instruction. Students expect multiple modes. ‘Consumer’ choice impact 

10:00 (Headliner): Hybrid instruction (Dual mode). Even non-instructional experience should be digital too. Why stand in line for financial aid if a student can set up an appointment and take care of it?

11:20 (Headliner): Big proponent of innovation. Built from multiple experiences from the past. Diverse perspectives give 2 ways of innovating. (1) Incremental innovation (2) Disruptive innovation. From Philips, learned to change the rules when you can’t win the game to disrupt the market. Innovation to get UCI the upper edge.

15:30 (Tom answer- Headliner): Focus on data and the contrasting opinions. . In Philips healthcare, the value was on the quality of MRI image and how fast the doctors can do it. So Data is a strategy and not just an asset and not just a facilitator. 

17:30: Collaboratory. Interdisciplinary teams to solve inter-disciplinary problems. Bring experts from the pharma industry. Build an ecosystem. Health & Wellness is the first. Second one is around student success. Use Data and bring people together. The boundary does not end at UCI. 

19:00: KPIs & Metrics. The metrics are not hard dollars and cents. They are more impact driven. Invited all 15 schools. 150 people showed up at the workshop. Second example is the # of partnerships that are built. 

21:22: The beauty of bringing together data is the insights we can derive. UCI only sends out only transcripts, grades at graduation. What if UCI sends out competencies instead of just grades. What if a graduate in 2025 is able to show the competencies that the student has mastered. Second example is what an educational fitbit looks like? How do we engage the students to create an educational fitbit.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Tom Andriola profile: 

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