Vivek Desai Of RLDatix: How AI Is Disrupting Our Industry, and What We Can Do About It

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Navigating the complexities of AI integration is not a solo endeavor. Organizations should actively seek out strategic partnerships with other healthcare technology providers, research institutions and industry associations to share knowledge, leverage complementary capabilities and stay abreast of the latest trends and best practices.

Artificial Intelligence is no longer the future; it is the present. It’s reshaping landscapes, altering industries, and transforming the way we live and work. With its rapid advancement, AI is causing disruption — for better or worse — in every field imaginable. While it promises efficiency and growth, it also brings challenges and uncertainties that professionals and businesses must navigate. What can one do to pivot if AI is disrupting their industry? As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Vivek Desai, Chief Technology Officer, North America at RLDatix.

Vivek Desai is an accomplished engineering and platform executive specializing in infrastructure, data, security and product-led growth. Vivek currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for RLDatix in North America, where he leads digital transformation initiatives and technological strategy to drive growth and innovation. With a strong background in both business and technical leadership, he excels at building cross-functional teams and influencing strategic decisions. His extensive experience includes managing large budgets, driving cloud migration and enhancing cybersecurity measures across various organizations. Vivek’s leadership has consistently resulted in operational efficiencies and improved service quality. His strategic vision and hands-on approach have been pivotal in achieving long-term organizational goals.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

My journey into the realm of technology and executive leadership began with my academic foundation in biochemistry and business information technology. Starting as a systems analyst, I quickly realized my passion for infrastructure and security, leading me to pursue roles that demanded strategic thinking and technical prowess. Over the years, I honed my skills in managing large-scale IT projects, driving digital transformation and enhancing cybersecurity measures. My ability to blend business acumen with technical expertise has been the cornerstone of my career, propelling me to top executive positions in leading tech firms.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

RLDatix stands out as a global leader in patient safety, quality improvement and risk management solutions for healthcare. The company is dedicated to helping healthcare organizations deliver safer care and better outcomes through innovative software and services. With a connected healthcare operations system, operational processes and standardized data come together to provide care teams and leaders with actionable insights and analytics in real-time. The result is improved decision-making that reduces risk, prevents harm and improves quality and outcomes.

A notable story that highlights RLDatix’s impact involves a major hospital network that faced challenges with incident reporting and risk management. By implementing RLDatix’s comprehensive software suite, the hospital significantly improved its reporting accuracy and response times, leading to enhanced patient safety and reduced harm incidents. This transformation not only improved operational efficiency, but also inspired a renewed culture around patient safety, with an emphasis on continuous improvement and accountability within the organization.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

1. Bias for action:

One of the key traits that contributed to my success was a bias for action. I firmly believe that the best way to make progress is to simply start and learn along the way, rather than getting bogged down in endless planning and analysis. For example, when we were developing a new product, I encouraged my team to quickly build a minimum viable product and get it in front of customers, rather than trying to perfect it before launch. This allowed us to gather valuable customer feedback, iterate rapidly and bring the product to market much faster than our competitors. I’ve found that a willingness to experiment and take calculated risks is essential for driving innovation and growth.

2. Transparency in communication:

Another crucial factor in my success was a commitment to transparent communication. I made it a priority to keep my team, my board and my customers informed about the state of the business, our goals and the challenges we were facing. Open and honest dialogue builds trust and enables better decision-making. For instance, when we encountered an unexpected setback in one of our key initiatives, I proactively communicated the issue to the entire organization, shared the steps we were taking to address it and solicited input from my team. This transparency helped us navigate the challenge collaboratively and maintain morale during a difficult period.

3. Failures are fine:

Finally, I believe that being comfortable with failure and viewing it as an opportunity for growth was instrumental to my success. In the fast-paced, competitive world of business, it’s simply impossible to get everything right the first time. I encouraged my team to experiment, take calculated risks and not be afraid of making mistakes. I modeled this behavior myself, openly discussing my own failures and what I learned from them. This created a culture of psychological safety where people felt empowered to try new things, challenge the status quo and innovate without fear of retaliation. By embracing failure as a natural part of the growth process, we were able to achieve breakthroughs that might not have been possible with a more risk-averse approach.

Let’s now move to the main point of our discussion about AI. Can you explain how AI is disrupting your industry? Is this disruption hurting or helping your bottom line?

Predictive analytics and automated reporting and documentation are two of the key AI innovations that are making splashes in the healthcare industry.

Predictive Analytics: AI-powered predictive analytics can help RLDatix’s software platforms identify patterns and trends in healthcare data to predict potential patient safety risks, adverse events and areas for quality improvement. This allows healthcare organizations to be more proactive in their risk management and patient safety efforts.

Automated Reporting and Documentation: AI can automate the process of incident reporting, root cause analysis, and other documentation tasks, reducing the administrative burden on healthcare staff and enabling faster, more accurate reporting. Automation through AI also facilitates thorough incident reporting, which is crucial for identifying the root causes of harm.

Additionally, AI algorithms can create personalized risk profiles for individual patients, allowing healthcare organizations to tailor their safety and quality interventions to the unique needs of each individual.

The integration of AI technology into RLDatix’s offerings is ultimately helping the company’s bottom line, despite some initial challenges. By leveraging AI-backed technologies, we’ve been able to build even more of a competitive edge in the healthcare technology market. As healthcare organizations recognize the potential benefits of AI-driven capabilities in improving patient safety, quality of care and operational efficiency, the demand for RLDatix’s AI-enabled software and services will continue to rise.

Which specific AI technology has had the most significant impact on your industry?

Large language models (LLMs), such as GPT-3 and its successors, have shown impressive capabilities in tasks beyond just natural language processing, including summarization, question-answering and even code generation. This versatility can expand the range of applications for LLMs in healthcare technology solutions.

Can you share a pivotal moment when you recognized the profound impact AI would have on your sector?

As a successful business leader in the healthcare technology space, I can vividly recall a pivotal moment when I recognized the profound impact that AI would have on our sector. This realization came during a strategic planning session several years ago, as my team and I were discussing the future of our industry and the technological trends that would shape it. During this meeting, one of my senior analysts presented a detailed analysis on the rapid advancements in AI, particularly in natural language processing and predictive analytics. The findings were truly eye-opening.

This pivotal moment was a catalyst for us, as we recognized the immense potential of AI to not only enhance the capabilities of our solutions, but also to fundamentally change the way healthcare organizations approach patient safety, quality improvement and operational efficiency. It was a turning point that has continued to shape our innovation roadmap and our success in the ever-evolving healthcare technology landscape.

How are you preparing your workforce for the integration of AI, and what skills do you believe will be most valuable in an AI-enhanced future?

Rather than trying to tackle this challenge alone, we have found that collaborating with strategic partners has been instrumental in our efforts. Through these partnerships, we have been able to tap into a wealth of AI-related knowledge, resources and best practices that would have been challenging to develop in-house. This collaborative approach has enabled us to foster a culture of innovation and adaptability, and ultimately position our organization for success in the AI-driven future of healthcare technology.

What are the biggest challenges in upskilling your workforce for an AI-centric future?

As we move towards an increasingly AI-centric future, the process of upskilling our workforce has presented several significant challenges.

Skill Gaps and Talent Shortages: The rapid pace of AI advancement has created a significant skills gap, as the demand for specialized AI expertise far outpaces the available talent pool. Finding qualified data scientists, machine learning engineers and AI architects has proven to be a major challenge, as these individuals are in high demand across industries.

Resistance to Change: Transitioning to an AI-driven operating model can be met with resistance from some employees, who may be apprehensive about the impact on their jobs or feel overwhelmed by technological changes. Overcoming this resistance and fostering a culture of openness to innovation has been a persistent challenge.

Lack of Practical Experience: While many of our employees may have a solid theoretical understanding of AI concepts, they often lack the hands-on experience needed to apply these concepts effectively within our healthcare technology solutions. Bridging this gap between theory and practice has required a significant investment in training and mentorship programs.

What ethical considerations does AI introduce into your industry, and how are you tackling these concerns?

AI systems can potentially perpetuate or even amplify existing biases present in the data used to train algorithms. This could lead to unfair or discriminatory outcomes for patients and healthcare providers. To mitigate this, we have implemented rigorous data auditing and model testing procedures to identify and address biases. We also actively diversify our data sources and collaborate with external experts to ensure the fairness and inclusivity of our AI-powered solutions.

Additionally, while AI has the potential to augment and enhance the capabilities of healthcare professionals, we must ensure that the integration of these technologies does not undermine the essential human aspects of care, such as empathy, bedside manner and personalized attention. We are focused on designing AI systems that complement and support human healthcare providers, rather than replace them entirely.

Privacy is also a significant concern. The healthcare industry is subject to strict data privacy regulations, and the integration of AI raises additional concerns around the handling and security of sensitive patient information. We have implemented robust data governance frameworks, including encryption, access controls and comprehensive data breach response plans, to ensure the privacy and protection of the data used in our AI systems.

What are your “Four Things You Need To Do, If AI Is Disrupting Your Industry”?

As the Chief Technology Officer of a healthcare technology company facing significant AI disruption, here are the five key things I would focus on:

1. Develop a Comprehensive AI Strategy:

The first and most critical step is to develop a well-defined, enterprise-wide AI strategy that aligns with your overall business objectives. This involves conducting a thorough assessment of the potential impact of AI on your products, services, and operations, as well as identifying the specific use cases where AI can deliver the greatest value.

For example, at RLDatix we recognized that AI-powered predictive analytics could revolutionize our risk management solutions by helping healthcare providers anticipate and mitigate potential adverse events. We crafted a detailed strategy to integrate advanced machine learning models into our incident reporting and root cause analysis tools, drawing on both our internal data and external clinical research.

2. Foster a Culture of AI Adoption:

Successful AI integration requires buy-in and support from all levels of the organization. I would focus on cultivating a culture that embraces AI as a transformative technology, rather than seeing it as a threat. This includes providing extensive training and development opportunities for your employees and celebrating early AI successes to inspire and motivate the team.

One initiative we implemented at RLDatix was a series of “AI innovation challenges,” where cross-functional teams competed to develop novel AI-powered solutions to real-world healthcare challenges. This not only generated a wealth of innovative ideas but also fostered a sense of excitement and ownership around AI across the organization.

3. Establish Robust AI Governance and Ethics:

As AI becomes more deeply embedded in our healthcare technology solutions, it is essential to have a strong framework for governing the development and deployment of these systems. This includes implementing rigorous testing and validation procedures, as well as clear policies and guidelines around data privacy, algorithmic bias and accountability.

RLDatix created a cross-functional advisory board, comprising of clinicians, that helped drive our AI initiatives. This board was pivotal in ensuring our AI systems were designed and deployed in a way that prioritized patient safety, fairness and transparency.

4. Collaborate with Industry Partners:

Navigating the complexities of AI integration is not a solo endeavor. Organizations should actively seek out strategic partnerships with other healthcare technology providers, research institutions and industry associations to share knowledge, leverage complementary capabilities and stay abreast of the latest trends and best practices.

RLDatix took this approach through a strategic partnership with a leading consulting firm, which helped us develop a comprehensive change management strategy for integrating AI into our existing products and workflows. Together, we were able to create a roadmap for a smooth transition, addressing the organizational and cultural challenges that can hinder AI adoption.

What are the most common misconceptions about AI within your industry, and how do you address them?

Here are the most common misconceptions about AI in the healthcare technology industry and how I address them:

1. “AI will replace human healthcare providers” — Reality: We position AI as a collaborative partner that augments and supports the work of human providers, not as a tool that replaces them.

2. “AI systems are infallible and unbiased” — Reality: We implement rigorous testing to identify and mitigate biases, and transparently communicate the limitations of our AI systems.

3. “AI will reduce the need for human expertise” — Reality: We design AI tools that integrate with existing workflows and emphasize the importance of human oversight and clinical judgment.

4. “AI is too complex and difficult to implement” — Reality: We focus on developing user-friendly, easily integrated AI solutions, and provide extensive training and support resources.

By directly addressing these misconceptions, we build trust and confidence in the use of AI, demonstrating its transformative potential while ensuring responsible and ethical deployment within the industry.

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process?

A few key thoughts and concerns often keep me awake at night:

Pace of Technological Change: I worry constantly about whether we’re moving fast enough to integrate disruptive AI and analytics technologies into our offerings. This concern drives my focus on talent acquisition and fostering a culture of innovation.

Evolving Regulatory Landscape: The implications of new data privacy and AI ethics and guidelines weigh heavily on me based on the nature of my role. To address this, I’ve prioritized building robust governance frameworks and maintaining transparency with clients and regulators.

Maintaining Client Trust: I’m deeply concerned about preserving the trust of our healthcare partners as we integrate more complex technologies. This motivates me to be highly accessible, incorporate client feedback and work to position my team as true partners.

These constant thoughts influence my daily decision-making, pushing me to move quickly, innovate responsibly and maintain strong relationships with the medical communities we serve. Navigating this dynamic landscape is challenging, but I’m driven by the opportunity to deliver transformative solutions that improve patient outcomes.

How can our readers further follow you online?

Readers can follow me on LinkedIn

Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.