At HIMSS Health IT Conference, Tom Cruise Shows that Data is the Demigod in Healthcare


By: Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI

Hollywood and Big Data or just plain-old data are rarely mentioned together in a single sentence.

Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry Maguire


Yet prominent cardiologist Eric Topol, who is a proselytizer on how technology is revolutionizing medicine and healthcare, making doctors all but obsolete apparently brought the house down when he took inspiration from Hollywood hit movie Jerry Maguire to underscore how important data is. Topol, formerly with the Cleveland Clinic, was delivering his keynote address at the HIMSS health IT conference on Tuesday. He created a video superimposing his voice and that of his colleague on a famouns clip from the movie – Show me the Money – where sports agent Tom Cruise is talking to his athlete client.

Topol may have entertained his audience but the message was loud and clear – just as customer is king in retail, data is the demigod in healthcare. In this context, medical device companies, which have historically made a simple tweak to an existing product and charged a premium for it, need to make special note.

It’s not just doctors that are demanding data to make medical decisions or even decisions about using a product. Insurers are asking for it, as are regulators. In other words, data is key to the commercial success of a new product. Maybe this is a point that device vendors need to understand, the next time they decide to complain about comparative effectiveness research.

Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI


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