AI Insights

The Evolution of a CIO: From Omdena AI Projects to Leading a HealthTech Company

November 15, 2023

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My professional journey has been a tapestry woven with experiences, fueled by a passion for positive change through data science and AI. It all began when I first encountered Omdena through my active presence on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. The concept of Omdena as a global collaborative platform for solving real-world problems through AI and data science projects immediately resonated with me.

Volunteering as a junior ML engineer on the Botnar AI Innovation Challenge marked the commencement of my Omdena journey. This experience opened the door to the incredible world of open-source projects hosted on platforms like GitHub. These projects, integral to the democratization movement, bring together curious individuals, developers, coders, data scientists, and domain experts to collectively contribute their expertise. In addition, Omdena offers the path towards closed-sourced and commercial projects to develop an impactful career. 

In my case, the ability to work on open-source challenges aligned seamlessly with my passion for leveraging data science and AI to effect positive change. It allowed me to collaborate with a global network of like-minded individuals, contributing to tangible solutions for real-world problems. This sense of purpose and the opportunity to be part of a global community of problem-solvers became the driving force behind my decision to join Omdena and remain an active participant in its mission.

Omdena Beginnings

Reflecting on my initial Omdena project, the absence of structured workshop support and reliance on Slack and Jupiter notebooks posed challenges. Keeping everyone aligned to task objectives and collaborating on a single code base proved to be the most challenging aspects. 

However, the journey didn’t end there. I’ve since ventured into professional organizations with a DevOps culture, witnessing the implementation of tools like code spaces and GitHub’s code review processes. My worldview remains unchanged, emphasizing that ML/AI are agnostic tools often used for commercial gain, while my true fulfillment lies in applying these tools to address humanity’s most significant challenges.

My evolution in the world of data science and continuous improvement has been marked by a diverse array of experiences, including management roles in healthcare and a pivotal phase as a clinical operations analyst at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. Recognizing the lag in adopting modern data science, AI, and machine learning practices, I delved deeper into the intersection of healthcare and data science.

This exploration led me to engage in open-source AI4Good projects, deepening my knowledge and applying cutting-edge techniques to real-world challenges. The transformative potential of data science and AI in improving patient care, streamlining operations, and advancing healthcare outcomes became abundantly clear.

John Hartley

From Contributor to Chief Information Officer 

Fast forward to the present, and I now proudly hold the position of Chief Information Officer (CIO) and founder of a HealthTech company. Alongside my entrepreneurial pursuits, I provide consulting services, leveraging the lessons learned and skills honed through my Omdena experiences.

Omdena proved instrumental in providing a platform to collaborate with a community of data scientists, developing use cases for clients, and fostering a deep immersion experience in open-source data. Embracing the principles of “be brave, stay curious, and put systems in place to improve,” I continue to navigate challenges and opportunities, solidifying my commitment to harnessing data science, AI, and machine learning for positive change.

John Hartley with family

While my first Omdena project was initially discouraging, it became a stepping stone for learning about the open-source collaboration process. In addition to my role as CIO and founder, I’ve taken on the responsibility of being a London Chapter Lead within Omdena

This leadership role not only allows me to contribute to the growth of the community but also reinforces the importance of diverse perspectives and collective efforts in tackling complex challenges.

Omdena continues to be a significant influence on my professional journey, providing a platform for continuous learning, collaboration, and the development of meaningful solutions. As I embrace new opportunities and challenges, my commitment to harnessing data science, AI, and machine learning for positive change remains resolute.

Ready to test your skills?

If you’re interested in collaborating, apply to join an Omdena project at:

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