An inside look at the future of healthcare. In each episode, Jodie Lesh, Chief Transformation Officer at Kaiser Permanente, speaks with thought leaders and care providers who are helping shape how we all access care — from cutting-edge technologies, to designs and innovations that challenge the status quo. Ahead In Health delivers critical conversations about what state-of-the-art, equitable and ethical care can be.

Fascinating discussionsMay 5, 2021

Really candid conversations about where health care is headed - not only recommended for practioners, but also a great podcast for anyone interested in how care is transforming.

Cutting edge and on point!April 29, 2021

Insightful and informative podcast on the future of healthcare. Looking forward to hearing more

I love it!April 23, 2021

As a new KP employee I am proud to see my employer launch this illuminating podcast! Give it a listen!

So excited for more episodes!April 5, 2021
David McCuskey

What an insightful first episode. So excited to hear more from Jodie and guests.

What’s the Future of AI in Healthcare?with Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, Parity AI

April 22, 2021

Advanced technologies provide a unique ability to process data in efficient and smart ways, allowing healthcare providers and administrators to anticipate patients’ needs, design targeted preventative programs, innovate remedies, and remove burdensome tasks from these processes. In this episode, we look at the implications and opportunities for the use of AI in Healthcare. How can we streamline and verify quality data to ensure our AI decisions are instructive, ethical, and valuable? How can we demystify AI for increased transparency and utilization, both to improve performance and reduce doubt?

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Show Notes

In this episode of Ahead in Health, Dr. Rumman Chowdhury of Parity A.I. joins moderator Tad Funahashi, MD, for a deep and wide-ranging conversation about how artificial intelligence could be used in health care for predictive analytics – and how it’s already being used to improve quality and efficiency in ways most patients don’t realize.

Today, image recognition can significantly help ophthalmologists and dermatologists diagnose. But someday soon, predictive analytics could give us ideas of what might happen to a patient’s health before it even happens. Kaiser Permanente’s electronic healthcare database has nearly 44 petabytes of data. It’s underused, but smart application of A.I. could unlock patterns that no physician could possibly see.
But there are real risks in this area. A.I. is an algorithm written by humans. As such, it is subject to bias. Drs. Funahashi and Chowdhury discuss the avoidance of biases in A.I. systems by more thoughtfully creating the algorithms and developing mitigation strategies when bias creeps in.
What protections can be built to avoid AI bias to ensure health care that is effective and equitable?

Learn more about Dr. Rumman Chowdhury and follow her on Twitter @ruchowdh. Learn more about Dr. Tad Funahasi and follow Kaiser Permanente on Twitter @aboutKP.

Digital Doctors (and Real Ones) in Your Backyardwith Marcus Osborne, Walmart Health

April 15, 2021

Health care is ripe for digital innovations to break down barriers and improve access and convenience. What technological bridges must we cross to build this future? How do we design the infrastructure today to ensure high quality care is low-cost and accessible, and can be delivered conveniently, in the right place at the right time? Beyond simple video calls with physicians, the future hinges upon our capacity improve connections between the clinic and home. By building viable modalities of virtual care that can address barriers such as transportation, mobility, and provider access, the future promises improved care for all.

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Show Notes

In the United States, health care is ripe for digital innovations to break down barriers and improve access and convenience. Affordable, accessible care is more concept than reality for millions of Americans. Vemana and Osborne discuss a near-future world in which patients can drive just a few miles to a clinic to see a doctor and get x-rays, labs, and medications. Telehealth technology means they can have at-home test kits sent to them for follow-up. And the advent of AI-driven personal health devices opens to door to a world of preventative medicine where doctors have remote access to patient vitals, helping them play a proactive role.

In this “omnichannel” future, patients are no longer bound to a bricks-and-mortar healthcare setting versus digital technology. The ideal solution is one that integrates those channels and enables a consumer to create the experience in the moment that addresses their needs, including a way to integrate data across a very fractured health care system with structures that limit how a patient’s record can be shared out of network.

This technology-driven future leaves no one behind.

Learn more about Marcus Osborne and follow Walmart on Twitter @Walmart. Follow Kaiser Permanente on Twitter @aboutkp

Designing New Spaces of Carewith Brad Lukanic, CannonDesign

April 8, 2021

While virtual models of work and healthcare have taken precedent in the year of COVID-19, how people interact with the physical spaces of our world is ripe for innovation. How might we reimagine our built environment to meet the growing need for flexible work spaces and blended models of in-person and virtual interactions? What innovative partnerships are needed to create healthy ecosystems across rural and urban environments? The spaces we inhabit have a strong impact on our sense of safety, dignity, and identity. What is needed across businesses and healthcare to meet people where they are?

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Show Notes

In this episode of Ahead in Health, host Jodie Lesh is joined by Don Orndoff and Brad Lukanic to discuss the use of places and spaces post-pandemic. What are the hallmarks of a well-designed, well-used building? Most of the time, we don’t even think about how we interact with the buildings we occupy. But COVID-19 taught us that events can trigger the need for innovation in how we use the medical offices, hospitals and other buildings that sit at the center of our communities.

Making spaces safe and more accessible requires a lot of intentionality and risk-taking. Design collaborations, like the one between Kaiser Permanente and CannonDesign, explore new ways of thinking about the complete ecosystem of a built environment. From surge planning for COVID to reimagining ambulatory spaces, the user experience will remain at the forefront of how we think about these traditionally built spaces. New technologies like app-based online check-in started as a member experience benefit, but then became a touch-free safety feature during a pandemic.

Throughout the conversation, Jodie Lesh and her guests discuss the relationship of buildings and technology. This includes efforts to raise the bar on environmental stewardship and the positive impact of becoming carbon neutral. Buildings are living organisms, and medical buildings also often sit at the heart of their communities. They have the potential to offer a fresh take on place-making and public programming, especially in highly urban and underserved areas.

Learn more about Brad Lukanic and follow CannonDesign @CannonDesign. Learn more about Don Orndoff and follow Kaiser Permanente on Twitter @aboutKP. Connect at ThoughtCAST@kp.org

Mental Health at Your Fingertips?with Megan Jones Bell, Headspace

April 1, 2021

For decades health reformers have been pushing American medicine to adopt more proactive models of care — led in large part by Kaiser Permanente and its deep history in preventive medicine. Yet focusing healthcare conversations on maintaining health rather than managing sickness appears to be a constant challenge. Today consumer technologies are driving people to monitor, track and manage more and more elements of their lives, in pursuit of total health and wellbeing — from mental to physical health and all of their intersections. Are these digital tracking technologies then enabling our pursuit of wellness, or are there more systematic interventions on social determinants of health? What are the current models of health that point us towards an ideal future of integrated mental, physical, and social wellness, and how can we ensure that all people access these means to truly thrive?

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Show Notes

In this episode of Ahead in Health, host Jodie Lesh and moderator Don Mordecai are joined by Megan Jones Bell, Chief Strategy and Science Officer at Headspace to discuss the all-important topic of mental health. Studies show that 1 in 5 American adults has a mental health condition, yet more than half struggle to seek or receive treatment – and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jones Bell describes how Headspace accelerated its connections with employers, teachers and national mental health providers in 2020. It created customized content around the coronavirus and for communities dealing with the fallout from racial injustice.

Technology is a tool, but it’s not a solution on its own. The next step is to get simple and affordable preventive care to the underserved communities that need it the most.

Headspace is not available to all Kaiser Permanente members and must be prescribed by a Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Clinician.

Please note that the free one-year subscription to Headspace Plus offered to furloughed or unemployed individuals in the U.S. and UK was valid for redemption until July 31, 2020.

Learn more about Dr. Megan Jones Bell and follow @Headspace. Learn more about Dr. Don Mordecai and follow Kaiser Permanente on Twitter @kpthrive.


Meet the Host

Jodie Lesh leads Kaiser Permanente’s Office of Transformation. Her team drives transformative system-wide innovation to create meaningful and sustainable change across KP. Jodie operates as a cross-functional orchestrator of complex, disruptive initiatives in support of KP’s strategic goals. She also leads the program's delivery system strategy, executing capital projects in excess of $3 billion annually. Her work to reimagine the future of ambulatory care was featured in Fast Company’s 2016 World Changing Ideas issue, and “Health Hub Experience,” a book that Ms. Lesh penned with her team, was a Fast Company Innovation in Design finalist.


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