Omnicom Health Group announced Monday that it has tapped industry veteran Tom Edwards as chief digital officer. In that role, he will lead the venerable health unit’s digital and data operations.
Edwards replaces Jo Ann Saitta, who was plucked to serve as W2O’s global chief digital officer in January.
Edwards has been charged with finding ways to more effectively deploy Omni, Omnicom’s precision marketing and insights platform, on behalf of pharma, health and wellness clients. Given his tech and analytics background, Edwards will also focus on ways to use AI to boost efficiency and integrate data and creative functions.
“I’m incredibly excited about both the data tools on hand with OHG and being able to truly align and come in with three distinct pathways forward,” Edwards said. Among the considerations he hopes to address: “How can I continue to help bolster some of the strategic services from a digital perspective? How can I help accelerate the adoption of intelligent systems? And how can we also productize some of our service offerings?”
Edwards cited the digitization of the patient experience – including telehealth, remote care and more – as a primary focus.
“When you think about the application to healthcare and pharma, it’s going to fundamentally shift and change how patients or even physicians interact on a regular basis,” Edwards explained. “It’s going to continue to accelerate the adoption of new and unique digital experiences that become a new canvas for how we interact.”
Edwards is predictably bullish on AI and everything that comes with it. “You’re looking at the deployment of AI to enhance internal systems as well as external client systems,” he continued. I have a lot of experience working specifically with various types of machine learning models – I set up a deep learning lab at Epsilon – so I’m really looking at how I can bring that experience into OHG and further accelerate our adoption of different AI methods.”
Previously Edwards served as chief marketing officer at Tripleclix and chief digital and innovation officer at Epsilon. He also held the role of EVP of strategy and innovation, digital, for The Marketing Arm, a creative marketing agency owned by Omnicom.
This story has been updated.