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Meet the CTO: Despoina Ioannidou

Healthcare Gen AI expert Despoina Ioannidou joins HealthSage AI as CTO

24 June 2024 – HealthSage AI is proud to announce the appointment of its new CTO: Despoina Ioannidou. What does Despoina bring to HealthSage AI, and what are her plans and priorities? We delve into her personal journey, professional experience, and vision for the future of AI in healthcare.  

Welcome to HealthSage AI! Can you tell us a bit about your personal and professional background? 

Despoina: “I come originally from Greece where I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. During my time at university, my interest in AI was sparked through a research project on neural networks. This initial exposure opened my eyes to the incredible possibilities AI could offer.  

Upon completing my degree, I moved to Paris to pursue a Master’s degree in Machine Learning and Computer Vision. Paris, being the European AI hub, was the perfect place to deepen my knowledge. Following this, I completed a PhD in Applied Mathematics, focusing on deep learning and computer vision.”  

And how did your professional career take shape after your academic achievements? 

“I was eager to apply my knowledge in the real world, so I began my career as a data scientist in startups. This evolved into roles as (AI) R&D team lead. I subsequently founded a startup where I served as CTO, bringing AI automation to restaurant payment systems. 

Three years ago, I transitioned to a health tech startup, where I lead all AI development. This experience was incredibly inspiring and solidified my desire to focus on AI in healthcare. Combining AI and healthcare is like the holy grail for me. By leveraging AI to make healthcare more efficient and impactful, we can improve the quality of life, health and well-being for everyone.”  

What are your plans and priorities as HealthSage AI’s CTO? 

“I will continue to live and work in Paris, allowing HealthSage AI to establish a hub for talent in this European AI capital. My main priority is to turn HealthSage AI’s LLM and solutions into scalable products. This involves creating a robust infrastructure and defining the next features. I want to ensure our platform remains modular and adaptable, keeping pace with the rapid advancements in AI. We need to be considerate of privacy and EU regulations on AI to maintain our user’s trust. Our development must be user-focused, integrating feedback quickly to improve the clinical workflow. My vision is to see our applications deployed in every European hospital, reducing the time spent on menial tasks and allowing healthcare providers to focus on patient care.”  

As a woman, why do you think it’s important for companies in tech and health IT to foster diversity? 

“During my Master’s studies, there were only a few women among the hundred students. This lack of representation is something I continue to see. Increasing visibility is crucial. Seeing women in leadership roles helped me believe I could achieve this too.  

Diversity is essential, especially in AI, to eliminate biases. A diverse team brings different perspectives, which is vital for creating unbiased AI. It takes a commitment from leadership to build balanced teams. It’s not just about gender: it’s about different backgrounds, abilities, and experiences. This commitment to diversity must be intentional – and at Healthsage AI, it is.”  

What excites you most about the future of AI in healthcare? 

“I’m a strong believer in AI’s potential to improve people’s lives. AI needs to be developed responsibly, ensuring it brings benefits without risks. Explainable AI is crucial for building trust. By making AI processes transparent, we can help users understand and trust the technology.  

The future is exciting because AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. From improving clinical workflows to predicting patient outcomes, the possibilities are endless. Our goal at HealthSage AI is to harness this potential responsibly and effectively, making a real impact on healthcare delivery.” 

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