January 22, 2018

When someone says ‘Dave Dittenber’ in Bay City, Old City Hall, Tavern 101 or American Kitchen might come to mind. What may come as a surprise is this local business owner’s 15 years of experience in health care, and his latest venture into artificial intelligence. His success across industries and impact on the region have earned Dittenber the honor of being named 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year by Central Michigan University Research Corporation.

Dittenber launched 4th-IR MI, LLC, a company that integrates machine and human intelligence to analyze large health care data sets. The results are patient insights that can be compared to real-time patient information. The company focuses on efficiencies for hospitals and integration at the doctor, nurse and administration levels.

“Artificial Intelligence and data-driven decisions are nothing new in business, and it is sometimes forgotten that hospitals are a business,” President + CEO of CMURC Erin Strang said. “Dittenber’s technology has already proven to result in a higher quality of care and cost savings.”

Patients provide unlimited amounts of data when being admitted into a hospital; however, only 30 percent of this information is currently being used. This technology allows hospitals to think beyond the face value of that data and unveil new insights that might have gone unnoticed. It allows them to better integrate a greater number of direct or indirect factors that affect the patient. 4th-IR inputs existing data and trains neural networks with open source algorithms to analyze the information, continuously learn and provide feedback.

“Dittenber’s focus on building his business and high-technology jobs within the Great Lakes Bay Region were key factor in this recognition,” Central Michigan University President George E. Ross, who also serves as chair of the CMURC Board, said. “We look forward to watching his continued evolution in the health care industry.”

The CMURC Entrepreneur of the Year is chosen by its board of directors through a competitive annual review and selection process.

Dittenber will be presented his award, and honored by the governor alongside other business leaders, at the 2018 Michigan Celebrates Small Business Awards Ceremony on May 3 in Lansing.