Forbes Healthcare Summit: How Big Data Could Change Medicine
December 20, 2013
The video embedded in this post is one of my favorite moments from the Forbes Healthcare Summit we held earlier this year. It focuses on how ‘big data’ – that is, the availability of large data sets and the ability to analyze them – will change the way that doctors treat patients. Other industries are moving toward putting more data in the cloud, keeping it on remote servers instead of in house. What opportunities does an Amazon-like focus bring to health care? I spoke for a lively forty-five minutes with:
- Susan Desmond-Hellmann, the dean at University of California, San Francisco, and formerly the head of development at Genentech, where she became one of the most well-regarded executives in the drug industry.
- Jonathan Bush, the founder and chief executive of Athena Health, a provider of cloud-based electronic medical records; the company has a market capitalization of $4.8 billion and revenues of $539 million.
- Glen de Vries, the President of Medidata (one of the conference’s sponsors). Medidata provides clinical trial databases, also cloud-based, to drug companies, and helps pharmaceutical firms control their research costs and manage their research productivity. It’s stock has tripled this year.
- Stephen Friend, the director of SAGE Bionetworks, which uses network-based biology and data submitted by patients themselves to try to figure out new ways of developing drugs and other therapeutics. He was previously the head of cancer drug research at Merck.
“In every other aspect of our lives data is being used in ways that can be creepy – I don’t want to leave that off – but can also be amazing,” says Susan Desmond-Hellmann, chancellor at the University of California, San Francisco, one of the country’s top medical schools. “There are many elements of what we do every day, if it’s talking into our iPhone, where we do our grocery shopping , our exercise habits, there are many behavioral outputs that others like Amazon, like Google, are measuring about us that our caregivers don’t have access to and we as patients can’t use.”