The CIO's role in managing risk and hype-vs.-reality for AI: UC Health VP, CIO Tom Andriola

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

Tom Andriola is vice president and CIO of the University of California System, which covers 10 campuses, five health systems and three national laboratories.

Here, Mr. Andriola discusses cybersecurity and the danger of becoming a "risk executive" instead of an "opportunity executive."

Question: How do you think your role will change in the next three years? What are you doing today to prepare?

Tom Andriola: I wouldn't say change as much as I would describe it as continuing to evolve. Healthcare technology executives have worked hard to position themselves as enablers to their counterparts in their organization, both business and clinical. It's hard work. I liken it to salmon swimming upstream. So I see the role evolving to be deeper into the strategy for how we continue to enable the right care at the right place, right time and at the right cost while continuing to expand across a more diverse healthcare landscape, including how we integrate with accountable care organizations and clinically integrated networks.

Q: What is the most dangerous trend in healthcare or health IT today and why?

TA: One need only go look at Gartner's Hype Cycle slide to get a good picture of this. But I'll point to my top two items. First is cyber. There is risk to CIOs that if they let it consume their time and attention they get branded a risk executive and not an opportunity executive. We've spent 30 years working way out of that image. Cyber is a risk to the progress we've made. Second is managing the dynamics around the hype-versus-reality around artificial and augmented intelligence (a.k.a., AI).

AI is really a collection of technologies and approaches that can bring transformational change to the ways healthcare organization work, interact with patients, and partner with the ecosystem. But much like the era of digitization of healthcare that we're nearing the end of — the EMR Era — there is a huge spread between early adopters and laggards not just in terms of when they adopt but also in terms of when the organization realizes real value. CIOs have to help their organizations manage through hype-versus-reality cycle, which will likely last a decade.

Q: What emerging trend or technology in cybersecurity are you most interested in today and why?

TA: I'm interested in uses of robotic process automation and augmented intelligence in the cyber-risk and cybersecurity space. We've all deployed more technology to generate more data for analysis. Reality for most of us is that we're not using a significant percentage of the data we have, and we're probably doing more manual than we should. Scaling is an issue. Cyber risks continue to grow, but the costs of protecting the enterprise and building responsiveness and resiliency will become, and some cases already are, unsustainable if we don't get some help scaling capabilities and bending cost curves.

Join us at the Becker's Hospital Review Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference October 9-12 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register!

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Laura Dyrda at

Copyright © 2021 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars