Top Google Cloud Healthcare adviser to address Vanderbilt construction symposium

Dr. Toby Cosgrove, longtime president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic and now executive adviser to Google Cloud Healthcare, is the keynote speaker at Vanderbilt School of Engineering’s annual Healthcare Design & Construction Symposium.

He will address the sold-out crowd Thursday, Aug. 8. This year’s theme is the “Intersection of Built Environment and Healthcare Delivery” and Cosgrove has a unique vantage point from which to address it.

As head of Cleveland Clinic for nearly 13 years, Cosgrove was instrumental in growing the institution into a $8 billion health system with multiple locations in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Canada, Abu Dhabi, and, in 2020, London. It is a global leader in clinical outcomes, patient experience, innovation and wellness.

Dr. Toby Cosgrove

Cleveland Clinic was the first health care system of hire a Chief Patient Experience Officer. Cosgrove, a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon, spearheaded a re-organization of clinical services into a patient-centered model of care designed around organs and diseases rather than doctors.

His talk kicks off a full day of panels and sessions from top industry leaders representing providers, construction firms, plus health care finance, design and technology firms, from across the country. Each year the event sells out its 150 spots well in advance and maintains a waiting list.

Topics include how design will affect the future of health care delivery, a case study of branding through architecture, creating dynamic, human-centered operating room environments and going modular. The symposium is sponsored by the Construction Management Graduate Program, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the School of Engineering and Vanderbilt University.

Cosgrove joined Google in July 2018. An advocate for telehealth, he told a telemedicine conference in April 2019 the field is much like flying on an airplane. “It is really slow to take off, but then it zooms up,” Cosgrove said. At Cleveland Clinic telemedicine has reduced average ICU length of stay and mortality rate as well as helped primary care physicians quickly get second opinions from the system’s specialists.

The next “killer application” in health care will use machine learning and natural language processing to transcribe physicians’ medical notes, he has said in several interviews.

Google released the beta version of its cloud-based healthcare API, which is designed to improve health data interoperability, in April.