Health innovation insider: 13 rapid-fire Qs with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center digital chief Dr. Claus Torp Jensen  

As Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s first chief digital officer and health of technology, Claus Torp Jensen, PhD, oversees the New York City-based organization’s digital transformation and data strategies.

Dr. Jensen joined MSKCC in fall 2019 after serving as chief technology officer and head of architecture at CVS Health and Aetna, where he oversaw tech innovation and business transformation efforts. Prior to his position with CVS Health, Dr. Jensen served in various tech leadership roles at IBM and Danske Bank.

Dr. Jensen told Becker’s Hospital Review that he was drawn to work in health IT because of the opportunity to “make a real difference in people’s lives.”

“What excites me about the work I do is the opportunity to leave behind a better team, a better institution and ultimately a better world,” he said. “I know how that may sound, nevertheless it is the real reason I made the choice to work in health IT.”

Here, Dr. Jensen shares rapid-fire insights on health IT innovations, from healthcare’s biggest disruptor to the future of artificial intelligence.

Editor’s note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: Mac or PC?  

Dr. Claus Jensen: PC.

Q: iPhone or Android?

CJ: iPhone.

Q: What has been your go-to tech device during the pandemic?

CJ: My laptop; I have been constantly on the move.

Q: What innovation or technology has made the biggest difference in your organization’s COVID-19 response?

CJ: If I were to pick a single one, I would say telemedicine. Having said that, there are so many other things that change as we move to a hybrid integration care model.

Q: What’s the No. 1 tech device you couldn’t live without at work?

CJ: Instant messaging.

Q: What’s your go-to voice assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple Siri?

CJ: That’s a difficult question to answer as each is integrated into a different type of ecosystem. And I don’t think any of them have reached the full potential of voice as a primary mode of interaction just yet.

Q: If you could add any tool to your EHR tomorrow, what would it be?

CJ: A complete set of open application programming interfaces to interact with the EHR system.

Q: Which retail or tech giant will be the biggest disrupter to healthcare?

CJ: There are so many that could. The digital natives, the emerging research organizations, the retailers, the healthcare payers. We will know a lot more in a year or two.

Q: What patient engagement tech do you predict will be most used by patients in the next 3-5 years?

CJ: Three years from now it will absolutely be voice-based interactions.

Q: If you could only have three apps on your phone, which would you choose?  

CJ: Mail, instant messaging and search/browsing.

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

CJ: Instead of looking at the competition between humans and AI in healthcare, it is much more exciting to focus on how the two together will always be better than either in isolation.

Q: What’s one professional skill you’re currently focused on? 

CJ: Change management. It is so important to be conscious of the change management aspects of everything we do. Not just in senior leadership, but in anyone who has a role in driving change.

Q: What is one health tool you think should stay analog?

CJ: For some things there is no substitute for human interaction. That doesn’t qualify as a tool of course.

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