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Thomas Gilbertson

Innovation Lead

Location: Hartford, CT



BS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), interdisciplinary science specializing in computer science and management  

Career bio

I have experience in health care business technology and innovation, focused on delivery of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning along with other health care innovation. I have expert-level skills in high-performance team building and leadership, the current technology and health care landscapes, and business communications. 

I was previously accountable for leading IT teams who drove delivery of capital investments in excess of $200 million annually for a Fortune 10 company. Prior to that, I was a startup entrepreneur and CEO for 12 years.

Personal profile

Why did you choose to work at Optum (instead of any other tech company or health care company)?

Optum is a great place to work because of the impact we can have on health care. Our size, scale, position in health care, data, and our caring and talented people make for a great platform to make a difference.

Is there a personal story behind your decision to work in health care? 

My mom was a nurse for more than 40 years. I am sure her level of compassion and desire to help people led me towards working in healthcare.

What’s one example of a really difficult problem in health care that you are solving using technology?   

We created a machine learning and AI team from scratch that became world class and delivered 72 AI projects in the first two years across the health care space. I hired the first 13 people, led the business conversations to source the projects, and up until recently had accountability for execution and deliveries. This team’s deliveries show that AI can deliver significant business value and ROI today. Once you know that, you can never go back.

What are you passionate about when you’re not at work?   

My family, including my wife and two daughters.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Take more risks and stop asking for permission.


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