Barbara A. Barry, Ph.D., is a human-computer interaction (HCI) researcher who studies how interaction with artificial intelligence (AI) impacts human intelligence, communication and behavior. Dr. Barry has made fundamental contributions to AI, developed and evaluated intelligent interactive software agents, and collaborated on large-scale implementations of new technologies to improve health and education. Dr. Barry's work focuses on how technology enables (or disables) human agency in health care and how to create productive, ethical and evidence-based use of AI within a learning health care system.
- Large-scale implementation of AI tools: Investigating adoption of AI tools in clinical practice with a particular focus on how AI tools affect provider and patient experiences and health outcomes. Dr. Barry uses qualitative and quantitative methods to identify AI adoption drivers and human feedback loops to improve patient-provider engagement and AI performance. Current work analyzes primary care provider adoption of AI tools to detect low-ejection fraction in a large pragmatic randomized cluster trial.
- Intelligent software and interactive agents: Developing and evaluating intelligent interactive software to improve patient education, health care decision-making and patient-provider relationships. Dr. Barry's research includes developing AI-enabled software to personalize interventions, conversational agents as longitudinal health coaches and embodied intelligent agents to support patients in clinical trials. Current research explores digital mental health solutions that leverage interactive AI for remote diagnosis, intervention and health maintenance.
- Data collection and representation: Creating novel methods for collecting accurate data from patients and providers that respect people, improve care and contribute to AI. Dr. Barry has devised novel methods enabling non-experts to create large-data sets that underpin artificially intelligent systems, including new ways for patients to express their health conditions and goals to providers. Dr. Barry's prior work in this area advanced commonsense computing in artificial general intelligence. Current work includes capturing patient data to inform psychiatric care and assessing digital collection of social determinants of health.
Significance to patient care
As a new wave of AI is embedded into health care delivery quickly and with high expectations, patients and providers are increasingly deluged with complex data and interactions with intelligent systems. Opportunities abound for AI to detect intricate patterns of human-computer interaction for diagnostics and to tailor interventions across the care continuum. Such innovations and the implementation of AI algorithms into clinical practice require systematic evaluation to understand the impacts on providers, patients and caregivers and help AI deliver on its promise in health care.
- Member, Artificial Intelligence Bioethics Advisory Council, Mayo Clinic, 2019-present
- Member, Social Determinants of Health Work Group, High Value Healthcare Collaborative, 2019-present
- Member, Artificial Intelligence Advisory Board, Mayo Clinic, 2018-present