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Accenture Leader Talks Blockchain and Digital Health Tech

Kelsey Davis, Sr. Manager, Digital Media Marketing, Consumer Technology Association

Accenture helps their clients to implement tech solutions to improve efficiency and productivity, and they are taking advantage of some of the latest trends in tech to do just that.
We had a chance to speak with Debra Alliegro, Senior Managing Director, Health & Public Sector, Management and Consulting and Boston Office Managing Director at Accenture about the work Accenture does with technology like blockchain, AI and digital health.

Tell us a little about Accenture and the work you do in the technology industry.

Accenture is a leading professional services company, with capabilities in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. We help organizations maximize their performance and achieve their vision as well as develop and implement technology solutions to improve our clients’ productivity and efficiency.
Accenture Technology is where we power our clients’ businesses with established and emerging technologies. In today’s fast-changing business environment – where companies need to continually reinvent themselves – we are increasingly leading with innovation in our client relationships to help clients imagine and invent their own futures. Our unique approach enables us to combine our capabilities across the company to develop and deliver disruptive innovations for clients – and to scale them faster.
For example in Boston, we collaborated with Biogen to develop a first-of-its-kind quantum-enabled application that could significantly speed up drug discovery for neurological conditions and we are helping Boston Scientific develop a digital health solution to help improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of treating chronic cardiovascular conditions.

Accenture has initiatives around major tech trends like AI and machine learning, blockchain and IoT. Tell us about those initiatives.

Accenture has many initiatives tied to AI/machine learning, blockchain and IoT – let me share a few examples:

  • In February, Accenture launched a new tool to help its clients identify and fix unfair bias in AI algorithms. The idea is to catch bias before it gets included into models. The new algorithm is powered by a “Teach and Test” methodology, which helps our clients validate the safety, reliability and transparency of their AI systems.

  • Last year, Accenture announced a partnership with Microsoft to create a blockchain solution to support ID2020, a global public-private partnership dedicated to solving the challenges of identity faced by more than 1.1 billion people around the world. To support the project, we developed an identity prototype based on blockchain technology – a type of database system that enables multiple parties to share access to the same data with an extremely high level of confidence and security.

  • For IoT – Accenture opened a new innovation hub in Detroit – which is designed to help companies shift to digital products and services; transform their engineering, manufacturing and field operations; and digitize their enterprises – we call this work Industry X.0. 

What new tech trend do you think has the ability to change the world?

At Accenture, we truly believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is redefining what is possible across every industry in the world today. AI can significantly improve how we as individuals work and live – and for businesses there is a tremendous opportunity to drive more innovation as well as growth.
Accenture’s research demonstrates that AI has the power to spur economic growth, shape the future of work and create completely new categories of jobs that will deliver economic value to millions around the world in the future. However, to realize that potential – it is critical that governments, businesses and the myriad of stakeholders who will be touched by AI – work together to determine how we can deploy AI effectively and responsibly.

What is next for Accenture and the tech industry?

Looking ahead, Accenture will continue to strengthen its initiatives around AI and blockchain but also look at other emerging technologies, like immersive reality (think virtual reality / augmented reality) and quantum computing as new potential areas that will guide our strategic direction.
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