Spotlight on: Mike Shemko, our new Head of Data Science

Mike Shemko has recently started working as the Head of Data Science. He joined our hospital from Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) and before that Public Health England, University College London Hospital and the private sector.

This is a new role to help establish a data science function within the Trust, understand how we can use data better and prepare for the future, which will include the widespread use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

“Many colleagues at the hospital already use data science in their existing jobs, but they do not necessarily call it “data science”, or they are not aware of all the potentials of it,” said Mike.

“My role is to bring colleagues together and form a pool of data science enthusiasts so that we can use their skills and knowledge to develop what we already have in place at the hospital and move towards more formal skill development in data science in healthcare for the future.

“There is an ever-increasing amount of data being generated in healthcare and as we move towards Electronic Patient Records (EPR), we need to be ready for the ways we can harness that data using data science.

“In data science, a large proportion of the work is ensuring we have enough good quality information and data, before we start to use any complex algorithm. We are therefore at the beginning of a journey to firstly understand our data.

“Artificial intelligence can bring many benefits to both colleagues and patients and we need to create safe ways of implementing this technology, which will include building new ways of testing, and ensuring ethical and fair use.

“And then, once we implement a new AI tool digitally, how do we safely embed it into clinical practice?

“Data science in healthcare includes multiple fields of study including computer science, epidemiology, maths, statistics, engineering and medicine.

“So, we will create new collaborations with UEA and research organisations in Norfolk and Waveney and new career pathways for hospital colleagues of all backgrounds.

“It is an exciting time to join the hospital, and I look forward to helping build data science skills, apply new technologies using AI, and deliver better healthcare to our patients through the better use of data. Data does save lives.”

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