Skip to page content

Stories & Snapshots

Why We Do What We Do: Connecting the Dots with AI

Epic’s Seth Hain uses his background as a mathematician to develop machine learning algorithms that are improving patient outcomes

Seth Hain knows that the smallest details can add up to the biggest discoveries.

As the vice president of analytics and machine learning on Epic’s R&D team, he is driven by a desire to understand how new technology can be applied to real-world problems.

“One of my favorite parts about working here at Epic is that I get to be a part of developing solutions to significant, new challenges,” Seth said. “I’m continually inspired by the ways our customers are using tools like AI to improve the quality of care.”

Seth spent years focusing on scalability as part of the performance and systems team at Epic. He worked on Epic’s core architecture to ensure it continued to scale for the largest healthcare organizations with hundreds of thousands of users. When the infrastructure for computing and storage made artificial intelligence practical, Seth applied his background as a mathematician and his experience with large-scale systems to design algorithms for machine learning in Epic.

For example, Seth worked closely with Ochsner Health System, which uses Epic’s machine learning platform to calculate patients’ risk of deterioration in real time. The Deterioration Index predictive model drives alerts to providers so they can intervene sooner and reduce adverse events outside the ICU. Many Epic community members are using the model today to care for patients with COVID-19.

Large, academic organizations like Ochsner often have their own data science team to modify machine learning algorithms to align with their specific patient population, but not all healthcare providers have the same resources. Seth explained that his team’s goal is to design AI that’s accessible for all types of organizations, including those that care for patients in rural areas.

“I grew up in a small town in Nebraska,” Seth said. “One of our goals here at Epic is to take on a lot of the back-end work so smaller groups, like the one where I received care as a kid, can also use AI to achieve the same outcomes for their patients. That work is paying off with groups like North Oaks Health System and Confluence Health.”

“Why We Do What We Do” is a series of stories from Epic staff about how their work relates to their personal missions to help our community members serve their patients and transform healthcare delivery.