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duolingo CEO with blue shirt


How do We Save Global Health? By Investing in Data Innovation.
Datax21 Keynote speaker Ed Marx speaks on the importance of digitisation and data innovation in inspiring post-pandemic recovery.

MAY 19  2021


 Meeting the demand for digital transformation within healthcare has never been more pressing. In facing upcoming challenges, health leaders need to follow Tech Mahindra Health and Life Science’s Ed Marx in adopting a ‘digital first mentality’. In delineating new strategies for health digital transformation, Ed Marx aggregates learnings from his current role and previous tenure as Cleveland Clinic’s CIO.

To keep abreast of rapid industry changes, leverage Ed’s insights and lean into the plethora of benefits efficient data usages brings. Read below for Ed’s expert insights into implementing a successful strategy, or register for the Datax21 Summit to hear Ed speak live.



According to Tech Mahindra’s Chief Digital Officer, Ed Marx, healthcare’s survival depends on how well we adapt a data-driven future.

Well-versed in the design and deployment of successful healthcare digital transformation strategies – so much so that he has even written a New York Times’ best-selling book on the subject – the former CIO of Cleveland Clinic tells us that only a ‘digital first mentality’ will guide healthcare to true advancement. Ed’s tenure at renowned organisations (such as NYC Health & Hospitals and Texas Health Resources), has shown him first hand how sophisticated digital health environments can make or break quality. The lack of which, as Ed observes, resulted in the very real devastation of international health systems during COVID-19.

In the first throes of the global pandemic, organisations struggled to stem the tide of burdensome backlogs. Ed attributes this crisis to healthcare’s historic resistance to virtual and data-driven care. According to Ed, siloes within health systems ‘prevented them from curating actionable, data insights’. Due to this long-standing lack of data usage and interoperability, the pandemic levied a grave expense on human life:

‘Currently, roughly 20% of existing healthcare organisations have a digital strategy. The other 80% are just winging it. As a result, even world class organisations are incredibly fractured. The different factions and divisions within their infrastructures lead to confusion for patients and health providers – the consequences of which, as we have seen, can perilously affect care delivery’


Data and ‘Doing Right’ by Our Patients:

As many organisations lacked key operational infrastructures, health providers scrambled, and failed, to scale digital offerings in time to meet rising demand.

To overcome this challenge, Ed took the reins in scaling telehealth by up to 50% across multiple organisations. As a result of Ed’s efforts, Cleveland Clinic now holds the gold standard for virtual care across the world. Under his leadership at Tech Mahindra Healthcare & Life Sciences, Ed has also guided enterprises in their endeavour to reimagine care delivery, business processes and patient experiences.

Based on his long-standing expertise, Ed’s current thinking dictates that digital tools will ensure best possible outcomes for health response strategies. He foresees that the evolution of care delivery will ride predominantly on utilising data-driven technologies. Specifically, two approaches that will potentiate advancement. The first: a reversal of long-lasting hesitancy towards change. The second, a greater emphasis on intelligent data ‘alignment and interoperability’.

‘We need to do what’s right for our communities and the people that we serve. So, we need to ensure that everything is interoperable that we’re using standard interfaces and exchanges. By sharing data and strategies with each other, we ensure the best of care for patients and the protection of those administering care’

To make the most informed decisions and ‘to do what’s right for our communities’, providers must leverage health data. They must prioritise data access, transparency and action capability to produce optimal outcomes for patients. By using data to track a patient’s entire healthcare profile, practitioners can develop a clearer view of any condition at hand. As Ed states:

‘It’s critical that organisations can take the data and make it actionable. In order produce the highest quality of care, data can provide all the patient safety guards you need. But you have to map out the data, analyse it and execute strategies based on it to make truly informed decisions.’

Data: The Key to Healthcare’s Next Evolution

Without data capabilities, health providers can no longer expect to drive future demands, as well as operational efficiencies, enhance patient care and support. Organisations would therefore be remiss to assimilate solutions that optimise and individualise care.

Certainly, the emerging generation of data-driven technologies will ‘bring personalisation and a future-focus into healthcare’. Ed acknowledges that versatile tools, among them Draper & Dash’s Data Science Platform, will enhance visibility across the entire care pipeline. By integrating data analytics platforms and tools within their infrastructures, health leaders will counteract many of pandemic-borne adversities. They will be able to engage new developments, including self-tracking, big data, and predictive analytics to drive untapped potential for better care.

Ed estimates that the rate of organisations adopting data-optimised and virtual processes has risen by 15%. In its nascent stages, this endeavour manifests in working directly with patients to curate feedback and health data. This synchronous provision of collaborative, data-focused and intelligent health management allows for practitioners to delivery diagnoses and treatments more efficiently. By interpreting information in minutiae, such technologies can homogenise and store data that could potentially save lives.

Ed believes that taking advantage of data platforms like the DSP will allow health organisations to compete in an increasingly saturated market. In patients to experience a ‘new level of empowerment’ through data, providers will stay ahead of the curve in offering ‘digital autonomy over patient data and, ultimately, their overall health journey’.



Currently, healthcare finds itself precariously placed at a crossroads.

In one direction, it faces the aftermath of the pandemic. In the other, it must deal with historic challenges brought to the fore by COVID-19. Both issues are dangerously gaining momentum, and will accelerate without rapid intervention.

If healthcare executives wish to stay ahead of the digital health Zeitgeist, it would bode well for them to heed advice from individuals like Ed Marx. They must become, as Ed states, ‘digital survivalists’: a class of health leader that leans on intelligent data solutions to determine future strategies.

As we plan beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that we innovate our approach to historic healthcare challenges, including: access, quality and affordability. Thankfully, leaders like Ed allow us to develop our understanding of how data innovation will improve healthcare. As countries brace for recovery, it is certain that world health will integrate further digitisation to satiate patient demand for faster and more efficient service. Data-driven innovations, like the Draper & Dash DSP, will drive the ‘next-normal’ and inevitable future for healthcare.


Join Ed Marx, Draper & Dash, NHS executives and healthcare colleagues at Datax21: the biggest data analytics event of 2021.

Datax21 brings together today’s data pioneers to spearhead tomorrow’s innovations. Register now to become a part of a community that not only leads, but also celebrates the latest developments in Health and Life Sciences Data Analytics.

Follow the Link to: Register




About Ed Marx
Ed serves as Chief Digital Officer for Tech Mahindra Health & Life Sciences. He partners with clients in the provider, payor, pharma and bio-tech industries to achieve digital transformation. Previously, he has served as CIO for Cleveland Clinic, NYC Health & Hospitals, Texas Health Resources and University Hospitals of Cleveland

About Draper & Dash
Draper & Dash is a provider of enterprise wide healthcare analytics, data visualisation and professional services, covering organisations across the UK, Australia, UAE and the U.S. The company blends industry expertise and advanced technology to deliver the most accurate perspectives and in-depth analytics. Draper & Dash’s solutions drive actionable insights, powered by superior information assets, which are tuned to clients’ precise requirements.

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