Antonie Berkel, Technical Account Manager at SAS, is nominated for the Dutch Computable Awards in the IT Talent of the Year category. He is responsible for accounts in the Public & Healthcare sector in Benelux. He is one of the driving forces behind developing the Healthcare Startup Service that helps hospitals take people, processes and technology towards a data-driven organization.
A new passion
Antonie initially had no aspiration to work in the healthcare sector. He wanted to make an impact with analytics. But when he did an internship at SAS and learned about applying analytics and AI in hospitals, his new passion was quickly born. This allowed him to contribute to the improvements in healthcare. The power of data and analytics in healthcare can significantly improve patient care.
Building the bridge between innovation and implementation
Antonie explains " The healthcare sector is facing more and more pressure. Hospitals are facing shortages in staff, increasing workloads and the need to provide better care at lower costs. During the pandemic, this has become even more urgent. Data-driven work in healthcare is therefore becoming increasingly important. This can range from optimizing healthcare processes to analyzing CT scans for better diagnosis and treatment of patients. Everyone recognizes the importance of it and there is plenty of innovation and experimentation. So it's not a question of "if" but "how" we should do this. How can organizations implement this data-driven way of working in a scalable way actually to improve care? Especially in a complex environment like a hospital, it takes effort to make this implementation manageable."
For this reason, Antonie and colleagues and partners, developed the Healthcare Startup Service. This service allows hospitals to gain experience with data and analytics by taking concrete steps in a few months. The Healthcare Startup Service makes it possible to outline the complicated journey to data-driven operations and to divide it into manageable steps and clear tasks. This way, data-driven work processes can be scalable and successfully implemented. This makes it easier to manage the deployment of analytics and AI in complex environments, such as hospitals.
A great added value of the Healthcare Startup Service is that data scientists, IT professionals, physicians and managers can find each other quickly. Antonie explains "By speaking both the 'IT language' and 'business language,' I managed to create synergy between these important stakeholders within the hospital. This allowed me to be at the forefront of great collaborations at various academic and regional hospitals."
Spider in the web
During his studies, Antonie worked for four years at SciSports, a startup aiming to revolutionize the professional soccer world with analytics. At SciSports, he learned what it is to be innovative. At SAS, he learned how to put innovation into action. With his knowledge of complex organizations, connecting soft skills and technical knowledge, he tries to get people moving and improve the healthcare sector simultaneously, like a spider in the web. Providing structure and concrete results towards a data-driven organization is what we aim for with the Healthcare Startup Service.
Antonie continues, "In the more than two years at SAS, I had the chance to participate in many great projects and wonderful opportunities. There’s not one day that feels the same. Sometimes you are working on architectures, but other times on specific AI projects or a more strategic level. I can also incorporate many things from the healthcare sector to the public sector and use this for our collaborations with government organizations. I think this intersection is fascinating. I get much energy from the people, projects and organizations I work with. I am therefore confident that SAS is an ideal partner to bring these hospitals towards a data-driven future."
Antonie has already received several awards. For instance, he received the SAS Excellence Award and Achievement Award, and was twice appointed to the Club of 100 (to recognize employees who have been essential to achieving SAS' goals).