Kevin Johnson

PICS Colloquium: “Transforming Healthcare from the Outside: the OBSERVER project” with Kevin Johnson

On Friday, April 15 at 2:00 PICS will present a colloquium featuring Kevin Johnson, David L. Cohen University Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, Bioengineering, Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics Primary, Computer and Information Science Primary, Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Title:  Transforming Healthcare from the Outside: the OBSERVER project

Abstract:  We live with a health care system that has evolved into an increasingly fragmented, primarily treatment-oriented, and now heavily burdened environment.  More importantly, issues related to privacy, space, and disease transmissibility have limited access to non-medical personnel who might offer creative, evidence-based, radical change to the health care system, as proposed years ago by the National Research Council.  One way to reimagine that access is through the use of multimodal digital data that summarize patient encounters and make them amenable to outside observers. This talk with summarize the rationale for this project and offer a framework for thinking through how the OBSERVER project could be realized.

Bio: Professor Johnson is a world-renowned innovator in developing clinical information systems that improve best practices in patient safety and compliance with medical practice guidelines, especially the use of computer-based documentation systems and other digital technologies. His research bridges biomedical informatics, bioengineering, and computer science. As senior vice president for health information technology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 2014 to 2019, he led the development of clinical systems that enabled doctors to make better treatment and care decisions for individual patients, in part by alerting patients as to how medications or supplements might affect their body chemistry, as well as new systems to integrate artificial intelligence into patient care workflows and to unify and simplify all the Medical Center’s clinical and administrative systems.

The author of more than 150 publications, books, or book chapters, Johnson has held numerous leadership positions in the American Medical Informatics Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, leads the American Board of Pediatrics Informatics Advisory Committee, directs the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Library of Medicine, and is a member of the NIH Council of Councils. He has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (Institute of Medicine), American College of Medical Informatics, and Academic Pediatric Society and has received awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Academy of Pediatrics, among many others.

This talk will take place in person in the PICS large conference room located at 3401 Walnut St., Wing A, 5th Floor (use the entrance next to the Starbucks). It will also be simulcast over Zoom. Members of Penn should email kathom @ for the Zoom link.