AI Business recently caught up with Johannes Hermann, Global Director of Machine Learning & Advanced Algorithms at Johnson & Johnson – a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical manufacturer with operations in more than 60 countries around the globe.
In his role at the company, Johannes is focused on a variety of business units including Research & Development, Licensing & Acquisition, Supply Chain & Commercial.
As leader of large project teams, he is actively involved in day-to-day problem-solving and breaking ground for new, first-in-industry data solutions.
Johannes will be sharing his field expertise at The AI Summit in San Francisco on 28-29 September, where he will deliver his keynote on ‘The New Frontiers for AI’.
Ahead of the event, we spoke to Johannes to find out his thoughts on AI in business as a whole, as well as the healthcare space specifically.



Johannes Hermann of Johnson & Johnson


Johannes observes that “today, many business decisions are driven by experience, expertise and often gut feeling, especially in areas of uncertainty and hard-to-gauge risks”:

“Outcomes are based on data available and the technologies available to analyse that data”, he adds.


But with increased usage of AI and ML, Johannes believes that data analytics can begin to transform the way insights from data are gained:

“It will enable business decisions to first be augmented with insights to support the data-driven decision-making process, but over time will be deployed more and more autonomously and thereby increasing efficiency and ROI”.


While the use of AI and ML in data analytics has ground-breaking potential, Johannes acknowledge that barriers must be broken before the potential can be truly realised. He considers these challenges from the perspective of his own industry:

“In healthcare, data is one of the limiting factors. Today we spend anywhere from 50-90% of the time for any AI/ML project on data acquisition, curation and integration. With cloud computing and the on- and off premise data lake concepts, data siloes can and will be broken down more effectively over time – at best at the data creation stage”.


Speaking about the future of the healthcare industry, Johannes expects AI to have two major impacts:

“For one, AI will, as with other industries, enable automatization, increase agility and efficiency, facilitate cost saving opportunities but also improve decision-making processes in general. For healthcare specifically we expect exciting opportunities to improve patients’ and people’s lives. AI will generate insights that were not accessible a few years ago that will not only improve diagnosis and treatment decisions but also drug development and patient selection criteria.


The second point is an interesting one, going out of the realms of the hospital and labs directly into the palms of the patients:

“AI-powered apps have the opportunity to improve patients’ disease outcomes by changing their lifestyle and patient-specific behaviours”.


At The AI Summit in San Francisco on 28-29 September, Johannes will deliver his keynote on ‘The New Frontiers for AI’.

He will be joined at the event by fellow CxOs from the world’s leading enterprises and the most exciting AI software developers, gathering to explore the huge opportunity that AI presents the healthcare industry, and many more industries besides.

To find out more, and to register to attend the event, visit:


AI Summit San Fran print screen


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Feature image credit: Flickr