Karandeep Singh, MD, has been recruited as the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Endowed Chair in Digital Health Innovation at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and named as the inaugural chief health artificial intelligence (AI) officer at UC San Diego Health, a newly developed position for the region’s only academic medical center.
This new role will be effective December 29, 2023.
In this position, Singh will focus on implementing change that advances safety and health outcomes in acute and ambulatory settings. His contributions will be pivotal in bringing innovation to the bedside, connecting the science and discovery that arise from academic and industry partners.
He will lead organizational approaches that integrate AI into clinical workflows, reduce documentation time, improve efficiencies and patient experience, while ensuring the appropriate structure and governance are in place for successful, accountable AI deployment in health care.
“Having worked with Dr. Singh previously in our careers, I have witnessed his impressive track record and deep expertise in health care technology firsthand,” said John M. Carethers, MD, vice chancellor for Health Sciences at UC San Diego. “He has become a national leader in the evaluation of proprietary AI technologies, a specialist in AI governance and has actively engaged in influencing AI policy with considerable experience and impact.”
Appointing the first chief health AI officer for UC San Diego Health enhances the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for Health Innovation’s (JCHI) vision to develop sophisticated and advanced solutions in health care.
“Dr. Singh’s expertise and reputation for being nationally recognized in the application of AI and digital health in the clinical setting will have a strong impact in the direction of JCHI and beyond,” said Christopher Longhurst, MD, executive director of the Jacobs Center for Health Innovation, and chief medical officer and chief digital officer at UC San Diego Health. “He is a dedicated trailblazer, who is uniquely qualified for this new role that will meaningfully bridge the gap between human expertise and technological advancements to improve lives.”
Founded in September 2021, JCHI was launched as a model of the University Health Network’s (UHN) Techna Institute to integrate best practices for patient and health care research. Their mission is to use AI to enhance human health and sustainability in ways that are responsible, inclusive and to empower the individuals it serves.
In early 2023, philanthropists Joan and Irwin Jacobs’ generous $22 million gift to JCHI propelled the reality of the mission control center, an AI-fueled hyper-connected hub that will use leading-edge analysis to provide the highest quality of care.
“I’m thrilled to take on this new role and help build out an AI strategy that will improve the experiences of the people receiving and delivering care within our health system,” said Singh.
Singh shared that his focus will also include driving innovation beyond the hospital walls and expanding the health system’s reach to entire communities, industries and stretching as far as the national level.
“My goal is for UC San Diego Health to have greater representation on the national stage where AI policies are being actively shaped, and to ensure that groundbreaking research happening in AI has a path towards being implemented and evaluated with the goal of improving people’s lives and experiences.”
As a nephrologist, Singh also holds a master’s degree in biomedical informatics from Harvard Medical School. He achieved his medical education at the University of Michigan Medical School and completed his internal medicine residency at UCLA Medical Center.
Singh brings the same pioneering drive from preceding positions as associate professor of learning health sciences, internal medicine, urology, and information at the University of Michigan. He also proudly served as the associate chief medical information officer of artificial intelligence at Michigan Medicine.
In 2022, Singh participated in the first invite-only Google Health Bioethics Summit, an exclusive conference of national experts encouraged to assist Google Health develop policies and principles related to AI use in health care. He used this opportunity to advocate for transparency in Google’s approach.
His research has been cited in several policy documents, including the White House’s Blueprint for an Artificial Intelligence Bill of Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Government Accountability Office, National Academy of Medicine, the UK Government Regulatory Horizons Council, New Zealand Ministry of Health, and in New York City’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy.
Additionally, he has published several high-impact evaluations highlighting key issues in the use of proprietary AI models.
“Dr. Singh’s leadership in technology will help us move health care forward by navigating a rapidly evolving digital era that will drive UC San Diego Health to the forefront of responsible AI development and implementation,” said Amy Sitapati, MD, chief medical information officer for population health and interim chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
“Among Dr. Singh’s prestigious achievements and foundational knowledge in biomedical informatics, I’m confident that he will harness relationships with key leaders to drive AI initiatives and shape the potential transformation of AI in health care.”
Singh’s commitment to discovering new ways for technology to positively serve the public aligns with UC San Diego Health’s mission to deliver outstanding patient care through commitment to the community, groundbreaking research and inspired teaching. The role supports UC San Diego Health’s efforts to champion AI and lead the way in integrating the power of leading-edge technology in health care with the research lab embedded within the health system.
AI is already being utilized in the emergency departments at UC San Diego Health to analyze clinical and electronic health record data to predict which patients are most at risk for developing sepsis, resulting in more lives saved.
Additionally, the health system launched a pilot in which Epic, a cloud-based electronic health record system, and Microsoft’s generative AI integration automatically drafts more compassionate message responses through ChatGPT, alleviating this additional step from doctors and caregivers so they can focus on patient care.
“I’m eager to work with UC San Diego Health’s leadership to expand our shared goals of making care better, faster, and more accessible,” said Singh. “UC San Diego Health’s commitment to excellence in clinical care, research, and innovation gives us the opportunity to dream big and rethink how health care should be delivered in the AI era.”
By adding this position, UC San Diego Health joins UCSF Health and UC Davis Health, which incorporated the chief health AI officer role in their health systems in 2023.
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