A Catalan dining experience courtesy of augmented intelligence

By Avanlee Okragly

| Healthcare

Food is a powerful force. As a former nurse, someone who’s volunteered feeding hungry children in some of the poorest regions of the world and a healthcare technology executive, I’ve seen firsthand food’s power to bring people together and help them to learn from each other. So last month at Mobile World Congress when I had the opportunity to sit down to an intimate meal cooked by Michelin-starred chef Carles Abellán and talk augmented intelligence with other experts, I jumped at the invitation.

The meal began with an unexpected yet welcome combination of peach bloody mary and oysters, and ended with a strawberry cream cake. Throughout the meal, we shared a lively discussion on technology and how it’s affecting our world today. Back in the kitchen, an unseen guest aided the chef to bring the unique flavors — and vibrant discussions — to life: Chef Watson.

Chef Watson played an integral role in the dinner, acting as chef Abellán’s ultimate sous-chef. Chef Watson provided recommendations based on thousands of Catalan food pairings and recipes and data on the art of cooking itself. Watson was able to provide creative inspiration to an already incredible chef, truly using augmented intelligence to enhance human cognition. But what’s more is this pairing of art and the science of augmented intelligence prompted interesting conversation among myself and the other influencers on how AI can open up new possibilities in the world as we know it.

We talked about the value of data — both evident and imperceptible — and how we can use it to its fullest potential. As leaders, we all know that if we can’t tap into all our data and extract useful insights for business, it’s an exercise in process as opposed to adding true business value. The beauty of augmented intelligence is that massive amounts of data can be consumed and analyzed, so intelligence can be gleaned from seemingly imperceptible patterns — similar to food, spice and wine pairings that wouldn’t be evident but actually work well together.

Personalizing patient care

Or, in the case of our business at SimpleC, personalized behavioral therapies that help patients with cognitive decline feel less agitated and keep them on track to achieve their activities of daily living. From food to medicine to personalized experiences, the possibilities with augmented intelligence are infinite, no matter which industry you look at or what outcome you hope to achieve.

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In healthcare, there’s a significant gap in the ratio of caregivers to patients. By 2029, the number of baby boomers will hit 71 million, according to Hospitals & Health Networks, rising from 41 million in 2011. While the number of caregivers is expected to rise, it will not keep up with demand, nor will every family be able to afford a personal caregiver. Data also suggests upwards of 66 percent of aging adults worry that they have neither the funds set aside nor the long-term care insurance that would enable them to afford the care they may need. This further compounds the issue of caregiver availability.

Augmented intelligence, when coupled with the accessibility of mobile technology, can extend the skills and reach of caregivers while providing personalized insights and recommendations for therapies based on what’s worked for the population in the past and what’s prone to work with patients based on individual profiles.

Detecting behavioral patterns

Some healthcare professionals worry about the idea of machine learning and augmented intelligence in medicine because of the industry’s strict regulations and sensitive data. However, solutions like Watson have the ability to read thousands of health records in seconds, understand trends and patterns in a population of patients and detect individuals’ behavioral tendencies to make well-educated recommendations for personalized treatments. The assistance this innovation could provide healthcare facilities is immense, and the opportunity for personalized care will only continue to grow, especially as we factor in connected home and medical devices.

That’s why SimpleC is betting on augmented intelligence and mobile to reinvent models of care for patients with memory loss, their families and their caregivers. Fundamentally, our business is about people: individuals with unique capabilities, needs and aptitudes. The only thing we know of that can deliver the personalized experiences they need and want is the right combination of data and existing and emerging technologies, like augmented intelligence.


For example: A patient we worked with suffered from sundowning, a symptom of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, causing agitation and confusion in the late afternoon and evening. In this case, the patient wanted to go back to the family farm to do chores like she did after school as a child.

By connecting this new symptom with the SimpleC care goal matrix, IBM Watson provided a weighted recommendation of therapies that would be appropriate for this individual patient. A new therapy was added to the SimpleC Companion to view pictures of her siblings during the typical times she was experiencing this late-day confusion. When the patient looked at the pictures, she was able to calm down and have a conversation with her caregiver. Instead of using a sedative or psychotropic drugs to calm her, the SimpleC Companion app was able to use media-based therapies to keep her on track with her daily regimen and increase her quality of life.

It was a truly incredible experience to meet with other professionals who work with augmented intelligence to improve experiences for people around the world. What made the evening even more memorable was the personalized — and delicious — dinner brought to us by chef Abellán and Watson. I’m looking forward to seeing more ways augmented intelligence improves the healthcare system, personalized care and our daily lives — from cooking to selecting wines.

How could augmented intelligence transform your business or industry? How will you change the world?

Written By

Avanlee Okragly

Vice President, SimpleC

Avanlee Okragly, Vice President of SimpleC, brings over three years of experience in selling healthcare software solutions and services to the Health Care industry. She has passion and a proven record of consistently driving revenue growth while providing visionary leadership in the…

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