Siemens Healthineers computer scientist Shikha Chaganti profiled

Siemens Healthineers computer scientist Shikha Chaganti profiled

 June 20, 2022

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Meet Shikha Chaganti. As a computer scientist for Siemens Healthineers, Shika works on the company's team in Princeton, New Jersey, to develop a smartphone app that will enable users to generate a health avatar of themselves, helping them to understand and manage their health data. 

Focusing on artificial intelligence 

Siemens Healthineers Shikha Chaganti

Shikha is a research and technology manager on the Digital Technology & Innovation team at the Siemens Healthineers location in Princeton, New Jersey, in the United States. Born in India 34 years ago, Shikha joined Siemens Healthineers in 2019 shortly after completing her doctorate in computer science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, specializing in medical imaging analysis.

The team in Princeton is focusing on artificial intelligence, with Shikha having led the research project My Digital Twin since early 2021. The ambitious goal is to create a mobile phone app that will bring people one step closer to the vision of a digital patient twin.

"Artificial intelligence fascinates me. There's virtually nothing you can't do with it – whether it's making video games more realistic, or optimizing search engines and business outcomes. And, of course, making medical technology smarter," explains Shikha. 

Patient twinning a technology of the future

Shikha explains why we need an app like this, and why patient twinning a technology of the future is worth striving for in the first place: “In the current system, the patient is often the keeper of all medical data.

"If I'm a patient experiencing some symptoms, I often have to visit several specialists until I get the correct diagnosis. I have to carry reams of paper or CDs with test results and notes from visit to visit. I have to remember the exact symptoms I’m experiencing, when I first noticed them, and pass on the test results that any previous specialist ordered along with their referrals." 

This situation harbors risks, because only physicians with all the relevant information at their disposal are able to make an accurate diagnosis and initiate the right therapeutic measures: “In the worst-case scenario, the patients might not receive the therapy they need on time, which can have far-reaching consequences.”

The idea is to establish frictionless means to gather such data in future, so that information from different sources can be correlated to find larger patterns.

“The patient model can utilize every bit of healthcare data that is available to patients so that they can have personalized care in their health journey,” says Shikha. 

Translating complex medical information 

Siemens Healthineers Computer Scientist

The app backend will connect with various data silos to create the most complete and comprehensive picture possible of a person's health and wellness data. This will include for example connecting with a person's smartwatch, which will deliver information on their physical activity and vital signs. The app will also connect to obtain medical imaging data on the patient.

Artificial intelligence will also help to "translate" complex medical information into a visual language the app users can easily understand: "We plan to create patient-friendly visualizations of various types of health data. For example, we could show cinematic rendering of their internal anatomy, which is generated by AI," explains Shikha. 

Disclaimer: This product is under development and not commercially available. Its future availability cannot be ensured.

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