Breakout Session: Fixing Healthcare

Moderated by André de Fusco, CEO and Director, Cynvenio Biosystems

Featuring Leroy Hood, President, Institute for Systems Biology; and Larry Smarr, Director, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), UC San Diego and Irvine

A major problem in the healthcare industry is that doctors are not scientists. They are not data driven.

The only way to fix healthcare is when every individual understands that they are responsible for their own bodies.

–          The problem is that most are fundamentally lacking in discipline.  There’s a real challenge in getting the majority of the population to accept this and start changing their lives.

–          There is a distinct need to put health in economic terms for the general masses i.e. ‘I save money is I make healthy choices’

–          The interesting this is that if you have obese friends, you are more likely to be obese. The opposite is also true, if your friends are healthy you are more likely to be healthy. Maybe the solution is to focus on creating these pockets of good health and spreading from there.

Before this can happen, people need to become self aware and educated. This is what activates change – from here you can begin influencing your friends in a concentric approach.

Being able to continuously monitor yourself for certain metrics i.e. blood pressure, blood sugar etc. it creates awareness and educates. This can then result in lifestyle changes which can influence others. This is where technology can play a huge role in revolutionizing the way we look at healthcare, allowing us to focus more on preventative medicine than diagnostic medicine.

–          Criticism: The problem with this kind of technology is do we know enough as non-medical people

–          Response: Cloud computing allows us to easily distribute information on what the correct ranges for your age, locale etc. The cloud can interpret it for you.

Potential problems with using cloud based data:

–          How do we create accurate enough cloud source data?

–          How do we deal with professionals ?

–          How do we correctly educate the masses?

Great hope for healthcare is aggregating anonymous medical data. In addition to preventative medicine, it can help with diagnostics and new discovery. E.g. if we could track all the different types of medicines that everyone is taking together in a series of cocktails, perhaps some positive results could come from studying the symptomatic patterns is these populations.

This type of technology, self health monitoring instruments for personal use, is just starting. the possibilities and implications are huge.