Douglas McNair

Software Engineering Fellow

Douglas McNair
Country of Residence
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Current Professional Role

Douglas McNair is one of four Cerner software developers who have received the designation Engineering Fellow. He has for the past 7 years served as President of Cerner Math, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cerner Corporation comprised of a team of PhD-trained applied mathematicians, bioinformaticists, financial engineers, and data scientists dedicated to discovering, validating, developing, and curating machine-learning (ML) based Artificial Intelligence (AI) predictive analytics solutions in preventive care and health services safety, quality, and value. Cerner Math develops AI for Cerner client institutions, for governments and public-sector agencies, and for non-traditional health services and public health organizations.

Professional Experience

Since 2002, he has led parts of Cerner’s Big Data operation in devising data quality assurance for raw data and normalized de-identified data sourced by more than 700 health institutions, used for discovering and building predictive, actionable models and decision-support solutions to improve health and safety and to drive personalized medicine. McNair joined Cerner in 1986, first as VP of Knowledge Systems and was co-inventor and co-developer of Discern Expert®, a near-real-time decision-support engine used in more than 1,000 electronic health records (EHR) systems worldwide. He started and led Cerner’s Regulatory Affairs department for 10 years and was responsible for both submissions and compliance. He also served as General Manager for Cerner’s Detroit and Kansas City branch offices.

McNair has served in R&D and Medical Affairs roles in several early-stage pharmaceutical firms. He also was VP of Clinical Development at ABIOMED for the AbioCor® artificial heart and VAD implantable cardiac assist devices and their PMA and HDE regulatory approvals and where he authored investigational plans and protocols for all products and was responsible for clinical trials, both in North America and in Europe. From 1977 to 1986, he was a faculty member of Baylor College of Medicine, in the Departments of Medicine and Pathology, and co-directed the Biostatistics and Design & Analysis Unit of the National Research & Demonstration Center for Atherosclerosis under Drs. Tony Gotto and Michael Debakey. McNair’s hobbies include chamber music, kayaking, art history, and authoring manuscripts on novel ML methods for archaeology data analysis of Late Helladic Greek artifacts. Additionally, he serves as a volunteer at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and adjunct faculty member at Bishop Kemper School of Ministry in Topeka.

Academia, Publishing, Awards

McNair, is principal inventor of more than 100 patents and pending patent applications involving mathematical modeling, AI, and health finance. He has authored many articles on health applications of Big Data and decision-support that have been published in research journals as wells as chapters in refereed monographs, including a chapter on Bayesian Model Averaging for insuring fairness and distributive justice of ethical ML and AI applications.

He is currently editor of a forthcoming multi-author book on Bayesian Network Mathematical Methods, to appear in late 2018. He is also a lead author for the Regulation of AI and ML in Medicine chapter of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine’s book on AI & ML in healthcare, scheduled to be published in 2019.