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Alexander G. Chiu, MD

KU Center for Health Innovation & Transformative Care Integrates Technology into the Art of Medicine


At the nexus of technology and medicine, luminaries such as Alexander G. Chiu, a Russell E Bridwell, MD Endowed Chair and Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and Scientific Executive Director of the Center for Health Innovation and Transformative Care at the University of Kansas, have witnessed remarkable advancements. Chiu spearheads a joint venture uniting academia, a top-tier research hospital, and specialized clinical departments to explore the most effective application of transformative technology.

Harnessing Technology for Improved Communication

When considering optimal applications of new technology, it's prudent to identify the most promising areas first. Interestingly, Chiu believes that the greatest potential for improvement may lie in an unexpected place. "Notes, documentation, and clear communication following a diagnosis present an exciting opportunity for enhancement," Chiu said. Leveraging generative AI, ambient recorders, and medical language models, physicians can ensure that their conversations and directives are accurately captured and shared with patients and their families for review after appointments. "It's thrilling to imagine that fewer details will be lost in translation during this stressful period. The impact on post-diagnosis care is profound," Chiu emphasized.

Fostering Trust Through Personal Connection

At its essence, medicine is deeply rooted in human connection. Without a personal touch, technology risks falling short of its intended impact. “When I first got to Kansas City, I brought a national reputation to an early patient appointment. I walked into that room like an East Coast doctor and said, ‘I’m going to this and this and this,’... making sure he knew who I was. The patient had sinus cancer, and he had come to see me from far Western Kansas. I realized in that moment that I needed to come into these rooms and introduce myself and then talk to them like a human being, ask how they are doing, how was the drive, how is the farm. That five minutes of getting to know them instills great trust in the healthcare providers in the Midwest. It is earned, not expected by credentials,” Chiu recalled.

Prioritizing Approach for Patient-Centered Care

As technology and digital health continue to impact significantly, the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) among medical trainees has never been greater. “It’s one thing to be smart. It’s another to understand a room and read the environment,” Chiu said. The emphasis on high EQ begins at the admission stage, with medical students expected to demonstrate authenticity, humility, and a willingness to build trust before they can effectively diagnose, treat, and heal. “While every good doctor strives for answers, the mark of greatness lies in their ability to collaborate closely with their patients, placing their well-being at the forefront of every decision,” Chiu said.


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