Dr Sheuli Porkess

Three healthcare and pharmaceuticals specialists have joined the advisory board of health technology provider C2-Ai.

Professor Mike Bewick, England’s former national deputy medical director, Dr Jim Bonnette, an international healthcare advisor, and Dr Sheuli Porkess, former director of research, medical and innovation at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, have each joined the company to provide strategic advice and to help expand the applicability and reach of C2-Ai’s technologies. 

Cambridge-based C2-Ai works with healthcare providers in 11 countries, including 12 NHS trusts, offering AI-backed care quality improvement tools to help hospitals make advances in efficiency and patient safety, and help clinicians make decisions about patients and uncover and address urgent organisational priorities. 

Bewick has held a range of senior regional and national roles in the NHS, including working on the 2013 Keogh Review into patient safety, before moving into posts in academia and industry.

He said: “Even now, there are healthcare organisations that simply do not look at data effectively and are not equipped to look at the declining status of patients under their care. There is a job to be done to get everybody up to the highest standard in acute care that is already in place. That would result in a big change in mortality variation and help to see very few outliers. C2-Ai provides mature systems that could help many hospitals address issues around mortality and patient safety. Its models are exceptionally well received.”

Bonnette has worked across the spectrum of the US healthcare system. He advises governments throughout the world and holds posts with US healthcare company Optum, venture capital firm Health Catalyst Capital Management, and other healthcare data science organisations.

Bonnette said: “A transparent overview of how a hospital works is what physicians want, so that you can improve. This is the right thing to do, but as a provider, there still aren’t enough systems to help you to know what the right thing to do is. C2-Ai can make this transparent so you can see where the issues are and act on the first indicators. These issues are the same throughout the world – with many hidden issues in areas ranging from Covid through to maternity. I’ve seen C2-Ai in practice over many years, and if more hospitals used this technology then these issues wouldn’t be hidden. What you can see, you can fix, meaning fewer people will suffer.”

Porkess began her career in the NHS, and held numerous national and international medical leadership roles in companies, as well as The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. He is a director of medical affairs consultancy Actaros, and chair of policy and communications at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in the UK.

Porkess said: “There is a big opportunity to apply data to help to make better medicines for the future. I look forward to working with C2-Ai to using data in ways that could enhance medicines development and help to safely speed up processes by allowing pharmaceutical companies to ‘fail fast’ and focus their resources by working out at an early stage if new medicines are likely to be effective or otherwise. Some of the big questions revolve around making sure that medicines being developed will be meaningful to patients and will make a positive difference to their lives. And we need to understand how medicines can be more effective for groups where insights may currently be lacking. Effective use of data can play an important role in finding answers.” 

C2-Ai president Richard Jones said: “We have been working with healthcare organisations for years to help them measure the things that are often difficult to understand, so they can identify how to improve care. Professor Bewick, Dr Bonnette and Dr Porkess will play vital roles in helping us to apply our technology to new and emerging challenges faced in healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, and to help many more people through an intelligent use of data.”

Date published: February 16, 2021