Augmented Medicine & Big Data

Last October there was a health conference meets big data event in SF called StrataRX.

As the intro (below) says it was exploring a future where we can better use technology to manage the explosion of data available from our various health systems.

“first-of-its-kind conference focuses on using big data to enable personalized and predictive medicine in order to achieve better patient outcomes and lower costs. This can be done by harnessing the explosion of healthcare data—from next-generation DNA sequencing to electronic health records, longitudinal claims data, and personal health device data (mobile health/quantified self).

The time for this is now: the integration of multiple types of data from different parts of the healthcare system represents a major opportunity for disruptive solutions.”

One of the many influential speakers and thought leaders at the event was Vinod Khosla.

Vinod Khosla is an entrepreneur, investor, and technology fan. He is the founder of Khosla Ventures, focused on impactful clean technology and information technology investments. Mr. Khosla was a co-founder of Daisy systems and founding CEO of Sun Microsystems where he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors.”

Here he is talking with Tim O’Reilly about ways in which technology and new thinking can help improve access to medical care as well as (perhaps) even replace some doctors for diagnosis; especially when we have a “perfect storm” of increasing healthcare budgets and an ageing population.

Ideas to check out are “bionic assist” which is the about combining the best experts and the helping the best.

In reading Nate Silver’s book recently he makes a statement that doctors are already using some form of probability to “connect the dots” as it were and try to make sense of measured symptoms and other data but sometimes they get it wrong.

What I like about this talk is how Vinod talks about predicting the directionality of these approaches and is happy to concede that his examples will be wrong but they will develop just as phone technology has developed tremendously.

Like every other sector I believe we are are just coming up to a tipping point on the technology implications for these big data approaches.

What do you think about the future of medical diagnosis?