The algorithm journey map: a tangible approach to implementing AI solutions in healthcare

William Boag, Alifia Hasan, Jee Young Kim, Mike Revoir, Marshall Nichols, William Ratliff, Michael Gao, Shira Zilberstein, Zainab Samad, Zahra Hoodbhoy, Mushyada Ali, Nida Saddaf Khan, Manesh Patel, Suresh Balu, Mark Sendak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When integrating AI tools in healthcare settings, complex interactions between technologies and primary users are not always fully understood or visible. This deficient and ambiguous understanding hampers attempts by healthcare organizations to adopt AI/ML, and it also creates new challenges for researchers to identify opportunities for simplifying adoption and developing best practices for the use of AI-based solutions. Our study fills this gap by documenting the process of designing, building, and maintaining an AI solution called SepsisWatch at Duke University Health System. We conducted 20 interviews with the team of engineers and scientists that led the multi-year effort to build the tool, integrate it into practice, and maintain the solution. This “Algorithm Journey Map” enumerates all social and technical activities throughout the AI solution’s procurement, development, integration, and full lifecycle management. In addition to mapping the “who?” and “what?” of the adoption of the AI tool, we also show several ‘lessons learned’ throughout the algorithm journey maps including modeling assumptions, stakeholder inclusion, and organizational structure. In doing so, we identify generalizable insights about how to recognize and navigate barriers to AI/ML adoption in healthcare settings. We expect that this effort will further the development of best practices for operationalizing and sustaining ethical principles—in algorithmic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


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