Deputy editor, NEJM AI
Andrew Beam initially set his sights on a career as a software engineer. That changed when Beam met the medical student who would become his wife, and he realized he could improve lives in a concrete way.
“It was obvious to me that medicine was this really compelling area where not only could you do cutting edge [articifical intelligence] research, but you could also do good,” Beam said.
As an assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Beam often uses AI on data to determine which drugs will work best on patients and to scan retinal images and chest X-rays for early indicators of heart and lung disease.
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Much of Beam’s work is concentrated in neonatal intensive care units. Babies are the “perfect population for AI” due to the large amount of data they generate while in the hospital, he said.
To help health system leaders deploy machine learning tools in their own settings, Beam developed Harvard Medical School’s first AI strategies course. More than 400 healthcare executives have taken the class.
He also has had a hand in creating several organizations.
In 2018 Beam co-founded Generate Biomedicines, a biotechnology company that uses AI to create therapeutic proteins and validate clinical drug trials. More recently, Beam became the founding editor of NEJM AI, a new journal from the publishers of The New England Journal of Medicine dedicated to furthering the evidence base of medical AI and vetting machine learning technology.