Analytics ace Matt Lewis has been promoted to a new role atop Inizio’s medical division, global chief of artificial and augmented intelligence, the network said Tuesday. In tandem with the change, Paul Hatton has assumed Lewis’ former post of president, medical analytics and innovation.

The dual appointments on Inizio’s senior leadership team are in recognition of the rapidly increasing role AI and technology will play in driving change and unlocking growth across the sector, the network said.

“We have an opportunity to shape and influence how we embrace change and how that change is delivered in our industry,” stated Elaine Ferguson, global president of Inizio Medical. “That’s why we are making crucial senior appointments to ensure we have the drive, capacity and expertise to guide our customers through a commercial landscape that is being reshaped by technological innovation.“

Lewis, who has worked for Inizio and its affiliate companies for eight years, is tasked with establishing a center of excellence for AI solutions. Prior to taking up the new role, he held a number of senior positions, including global chief data and analytics officer at MEDiSTRAVA and ApotheCom, and most recently global chief medical analytics and innovation officer for Inizio Medical.

Lewis recently appeared on the MM+M Podcast to explain how the latest AI technology – known as “generative AI” – is being infused into med comms.

Hatton, who also brings years of experience at Inizio-associated agencies, will guide the medical analytics practice, with responsibility for continuing to embed digital innovation and advanced analytics. His most recent roles include managing director of both Synaptik and Medical Expressions for Nucleus Global, a specialist med-comms network which is part of Inizio’s medical division. 

Inizio was spawned by the union of mid-sized health marketing networks Evoke and Ashfield in 2022. Its medical division houses the legacy Ashfield Health and Huntsworth agency brands, ranging from ApotheCom and Ashfield MedComms to Nucleus Global and MediStrava. 

A recent report from McKinsey and Harvard estimated that various types of AI, from machine learning (ML) to natural language processing (NLP), could save the healthcare system between $200 billion to $360 billion. It could also improve patient experience and clinician satisfaction while broadening access. 

But many other observers wonder how many problems it might cause, such as leaking patient data. Ongoing research over the next few years is needed to validate the technology.

The global healthcare AI market is forecast to reach almost $188 billion by 2030. But agencies seeking to harness the commercial opportunities created by the rise of AI will need to proceed with caution as they leverage these and other tech-based innovations for clients.

“The speed of technological innovation and the rise of AI will act as a catalyst for change across the sector,” Ferguson added.