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A Big Step in Big Data

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For those tracking progress in the field of digital health, in general, and the aspect that covers data, AI and personalization of health care through data insights, an important piece was published this week in The MIT Technology Review, entitled “It took a pandemic, but the US finally has (some) centralized medical data.” It reveals important news in big data mining in the health care industry that happened during the COVID crisis, providing both a broad overview and specific examples that provide a clear description of the impact of COVID and data sharing on an industry formerly known for a lack of public sharing of large data sets. With greater access to large, consistent data sets, the piece paints a bright future for personalized health care and other public and/or behavioral health other issues that rely upon large, standardized data sets.

 

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Digital Health – From Skepticism to Promise – Defining an Emerging Field

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The field called “digital health” exploded in 2020. Since last year at this time, we have seen hyper growth and historic investments where the average deal size was 15x greater than 2019. However, the year did not start this way. At the 38th Annual JP Morgan Conference, CNBC’s Christina Farr announced, “Confusion and hype over ‘digital health’ overshadows J.P. Morgan health conference.” In the article, she explained, “Some attendees felt the lack of a clear definition for “digital health” might be hurting the sector.” 

Many came to recognize that the health care industry advanced 10-20 years in a single year, as a result of COVID.  At a June 2019 Senate HELP Committee meeting, Senator Lumar Alexander stated, “Because of COVID 19, our healthcare sector and government have been forced to cram 10 years worth of Telehealth experience into just 3 months.”

While we have all come to recognize the effects of COVID on innovation in the health care industry, when it comes to an emerging field like digital health, where two distinct industries are merging, it is important to remain vigilant in clearly defining terms and expectations. I spent the past 12 months analyzing the evolving definition of the term Digital Health, summarized in the note:  “Comparing Colleague Definitions of Digital Health” and used this exercise to develop the 5-part framework, below, which I use to clarify any discussions of a digital health solution:

  1. Applications (i.e. Telehealth , wearables); 
  2. Customers targeted/ affected (i.e. patients, care providers, research labs); 
  3. Technologies (i.e. software vs hardware); 
  4. Modality ( i.e wired vs wireless); 
  5. Outcomes (i.e. access to health care, cost-savings, profitability, scalability)

Over time, the health care and technology sectors will continue to learn to speak a common language to reduce a sense of “confusion” and “hype” when it comes to the Digital Health industry. By using a common framework to interpret digital health solutions, those of us from different backgrounds, from technology to health care, from investor to patient, can work together to guide this emerging industry to reach its true potential.

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Note: from a VC standpoint, the following business aspects are relevant to the analysis of Digital Health companies

  1. How is it addressing a health care problem?
  2. Stage (Startup,  Seed, Series A, B)
  3. Patent activity
  4. Novelty of the technology
  5. Strength of the team
  6. The business model (who will ultimately pay for this product – patients, payers, employers
  7. Does it provide a Consumer and Enterprise solution?
  8. What would suggest long-term adoption, viability
  9. What might prevent it from taking hold?

 

Comparing Colleague Definitions of Digital Health

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In 2020, I reviewed colleague definitions of “Digital Health” (in alpha order), as follows, below. 

Comparing Definitions

In terms of the broadest description, I enjoyed this one provided by Sharat Israni  Exec Dir & CTO, Bakar Computational Health Science Institute, UCSF. When I asked him how he defined digital health, he replied, “That which is not paper-based.” and went on to say that it is just about all aspects of health care. His comment is not far from the definition on the Startup Health website, What was once defined as “digital health” is converging across all health sectors – in other words: digital health = health

Between a paper-based system and “everything,” however, I believe that there lies a definition that will help us evaluate the new options, which is important in determining where we will, as an industry, invest our time, money and take a risk, as patients, in order to shape an industry that has a truly beneficial effect on society. I agree that there is a danger in combining two industries that have not, traditionally, spoken the same language, as Robert Wachter proclaims in his book Digital Doctor, and who has advocated for improved cross-pollination across these two sectors. I believe that the more all of us pay attention and ask ourselves about the quality of digital health solutions, the more we can focus on the ones that will leave a long-lasting impact.

Colleague Definitions:

  1. HIMSS defines digital health, March 2020:  HIMSS is releasing a new definition of digital health to serve as a benchmark for the global health community: Digital health connects and empowers people and populations to manage health and wellness, augmented by accessible and supportive provider teams working within flexible, integrated, interoperable and digitally-enabled care environments that strategically leverage digital tools, technologies and services to transform care delivery.
  2. JP Morgan 2020/CNBC Article Jan 2020: “Some attendees felt the lack of a clear definition for “digital health” might be hurting the sector. Digital health is broadly considered the intersection of health and technology, but the term is so overused and over-hyped, it’s no longer clear what it means.”
  3. MD-Disrupt: Healthtech is defined as the application of technology to solve problems in healthcare—think wearables, apps, cellphones, connected devices,  software, databases, etc.  It can also include medical devices, personalized medicine, and even at-home testing solutions.  
  4. Rock Health 2013: at the intersection of healthcare and technology; and not solely in medicine, but across healthcare, including wellness and administration. 
  5. Rock Health Definition 2020: What types of platforms are out there? There are already many—and they are continually evolving, with new ones emerging. We expect that state of flux to last for the next few years. Rock Health Definition 2020 Q3 Report: Rock Health defines digital health as the intersection of healthcare and technology. This means that the venture funding tracked only includes technology-enabled health-related companies, whether they focus on the administration of healthcare, the delivery of healthcare, or the process of bringing breakthrough new healthcare products to market (both R&D and commercialization).
  6. The Stanford Center for Digital Health: We define digital health broadly, using it to describe digital information or data and communications technologies to collect, share, and manipulate health information to improve patient health and healthcare delivery (Turakhia, Desai, & Harrington, 2016). This definition therefore encompasses a wide variety of software and data technologies (e.g., data science, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, electronic health records (EHRs), virtual and augmented reality), hardware (e.g., smartphones, tablets, computers, health trackers, wearable technologies, sensors, medical devices), and services or solutions (e.g., video conferencing, mHealth apps, remote monitoring). 
  7. Startup HealthWhat was once defined as “digital health” is converging across all health sectors – in other words: digital health = health.

Brothers Tim and David Wilkins on Race, Sustainability and Social Justice

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Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 11.12.23 PM[Photo above: Left, Edward Braham, Senior Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer introduced the speakers and provided the framework for the dialogue]

The following provides a brief review of a webinar on structural racism for business and legal leaders attended by 1K+ participants from the US, Europe and Asia.

Today, companies can expect new regulations and incentives that will affect race and social injustice. Companies will need to prepare for these changes in advance so that they can be part of the solution going forward. Conversations like those with David and Tim Wilkins can help prepare leaders and citizens alike.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a term that has risen to popularity thanks to results many of us have witnessed in our lifetime. Examples include the rise of renewable energy, of the end of the whaling industry, youth advertising of alcohol and tobacco, and other issues that are being affected by regulation of businesses. While there has been remarkable little positive change with regard to race and social justice in the past, thanks to recent developments exposing racial injustice in law enforcement and the health care system, going forward, corporations can expect new regulations regarding racial inequities. Experts like David and Tim Wilkins, can provide both a legal and business perspective that will help companies navigate change so that, as a society, we achieve expected positive outcomes in a timely and effective manner.

Webinar take-aways included:

  1. There has been little positive change during the three generations that the Wilkins family has been practicing law (for the last 3 generations, with their father, Julian Wilkins, serving as the first black partner at a major law firm in Chicago in 1971, and their uncle John as the first black professor at the University of Berkeley – see photo below)
  2. There is, however, an important opening for change today, as a result of public awareness and compassion regarding inequities in the justice and health care system that were exposed over recent months;
  3. There is a growing realization that the investment by businesses in creating positive changes in society can be viable from an economic standpoint. A strategic approach to transparency and following the economic value and incentives will be among factors driving positive change;
  4. The legal and business professions need to work together to ensure that policies and procedures are in place that will support the transition in a way that is safe and effective for all stakeholders;
  5. The “ask” – that each of us can make a positive change today, no matter how small.

Sending gratitude to the Wilkins brothers and the organizations who sponsored this event, for sharing their thoughtfulness, wit and positive outlook regarding a complex and potentially controversial topic. They provided us with valuable background on the topic and helped us feel a sense of urgency in taking advantage of this important window of opportunity to effect positive change. Their asking us to consider playing a role here and now filled me with a sense of purpose. It also represents part of what motivated me to document my take-aways and share them in the form of a blog.I have confidence that I will be weaving this knowledge and motivation into the way I live and manage, both, as will those with whom I share this valuable learning experience. 

Running 1 hour and 30 minutes, this lecture-dialogue between the Wilkins brothers provides a great roadmap for positive change for the issue of race and social injustice: http://bit.ly/StructuralRacismSolutions 

Additionally, Freshfields prepared a summary blog, which incorporates key points from a business and legal perspective here.

 

[Photos below: Webinar screen shot: David Wilkins, the Lester Kissel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Tim Wilkins, Global Partner for Client Sustainability, Freshfields]

[Historical photo: Their father, Julian Wilkins, became the first black partner at a major law firm in Chicago in 1971, and their uncle John was the first black professor at the University of Berkeley.]

 

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From the Driver’s Seat – What is “AI” in Health Care and What is in Store?

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Screen Shot 2020-10-13 at 10.56.04 PM[Left, Richit Sihnha, Partner, AV8 Ventures. Right, Glen Tullman Executive Chairman,  Livongo. http://bit.ly/DigtalHealthAI]

Keeping a sharp eye on artificial intelligence will be critical to understanding the future of medicine. 

However, artificial Intelligence (AI)  is often poorly understood, even by business leaders, and yet many consider it part of every aspect of digital health, if not health care overall. What is AI and what are examples of developments that will help us anticipate the future of health care?

According to the Brookings Institute, AI is often poorly understood, even by business leaders. Ai is the use of algorithms that are designed to make decisions, often using real-time data. What makes Artificial Intelligence different from simple programming, is that AI systems are able to handle complex structures like the human body because they learn over time, and become accustomed to increasingly complex sets of input. There is not just one action for every input, but the actions are adjusted by a myriad of factors, and the way the system adjusts is affected by what it learns over time as well.

During the recent 2020 Digital Health Awards, “New Application of AI” was one of about one dozen award categories. However, it seems that AI will soon be an aspect of all elements of digital health, and health care in general, for that matter. According to Richit Sihnha, Partner, AV8 Ventures, “AI will be as transformative to the healthcare industry as sequencing was for the diagnostics and therapeutics industry.” She believes that, some day, “AI will be core to everything we build in health care.”

Glen Tullman Executive Chairman,  Livongo, a company that uses convenient monitoring devices, call/text centers and computer algorithms to personalize diabetes care, described AI in terms its effect on peoples’ lives rather than on the technology itself.  Tullmann talked about people and magic, referencing a quote by science writer Arthur C. Clark, who said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’” Tullman underscored this point, adding, “We can use technology …and data science to create magical experiences, and we can really make it easier for people to stay healthy. That’s why this excites me!” In July 2019, Livongo went public, and September 2020, announced an $18.5B merger with Teledoc, the largest digital health deal in history. Going forward,  the company anticipates further developments in its vision to deliver life-changing services.

Chris Manzi, MD, Co-founder and CEO at Viz.ai, with audiences the role of AI in saving those who have had a stroke. Time is critical to patient outcomes in stroke care. AI in radiology can be used to reduce treatment time by automating radiology reads to diagnosis a stroke before a human has read the scan. During the CT exam, when the patient is first being imaged (the first step of the process) if the algorithm indicates a possible stroke, the entire care team, from the radiologists and neurologist quickly come together to verify the AI diagnosis and the surgical plan. In the past, each specialist would see the patient sequentially, a 2-hour process. By working in unison once alerted, the total time to treatment is less than one hour after the CT scan.  Thanks to the impact of Viz.Ai in treating stroke patients, they received the first clearance for the application of AI in healthcare by the FDA. Further, in September 2020, they became the first AI software to receive a Medicare New Technology Add-on Payment so that hospitals would be reimbursed for this care, and enabling hospitals adopt advanced technology to improve stroke care. 

For leaders in health care, and those who consume health care, including employers and consumers, staying abreast of this rapidly evolving field will help us evaluate options and manage change in an effective manner. As I look at the marketplace, I will be sorting for those organizations who use their technical capabilities to solve the problems that are most relevant to their customers and those who clearly describe their value proposition. Speaking in ROI terms will be critical to ensuring we can compare one solution to another.

The five companies selected in this manner by a panel of 250 judges at the UCSF Digital Health awards for the “New Applications of AI” include those listed below. Each is worthy of a website visit and a conversation with colleagues to learn more about their technology and the quantitative and qualitative value they offer their customers – both health care professionals and consumers alike.

  1. Livongo – Personalizing diabetes care (UCSF Digital Health AI Award-winner 2019)
  2. Viz.Ai – Accelerating stroke care by automating the analysis of stroke care (UCSF Digital Health Award-winner 2020)
  3. Suki Health – 100% accurate voice dictation to liberate physicians from note-taking
  4. Gauss Surgical – Powering surgical and maternal safety with A.I.
  5. Karius – Blood test based on next-generation sequencing of microbial cell-free DN.

For more information on the the “New Application of AI” category, scroll to minute 17:11  here: bit.ly/DigtalHealthAI   

 

UCSF Digital Health Awards – Cross-Pollinating to Allow an Industry to Take Off

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UCSF Health Hub recently hosted the 2nd annual UCSF Digital Health awards. The initial vision, as Mark Goldstein, founder, pointed out, was to define an industry to allow it to achieve its true potential in terms of collaboration, relationships and funding. UCSF Health Hub is clearly creating the connections across life sciences, technology, and the investment community to enable the advances that our industry needs. The end-game is to make health care more affordable and accessible, and to ensure that the 10-year gains made during the last 6 months during COVID continue to advance. 

 

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In the months leading up to the awards ceremony, the team assembled 750 applicants, 250 judges, and 120 speakers and thousands of audience members representing diverse perspectives. This process resulted in winners in each of 15 distinct categories, including those that were defined by a technology (i.e. AI), a health outcomes (i.e. mental health), addressing an access (i.e. cost savings) and affiliation-specific contributions to the field by UCSF. Net-net, they gave us a platform to understand how the industry is defined, as well as an introduction to the thought-leaders and the companies who are recognized as having make significant contributions to the field to-date. It is critical that each of us, as business leaders, providers, policy-makers and/or consumers, understands the important developments happening at the interface between technology and health care in the weeks and months ahead. In taking a proactive role, we will be able to help ensure that positive change gains momentum. It is clear that our collective voices are needed to ensure that digital health does not lose ground post-COVID. 

Among the 15 categories recognized at the ceremony* (see below), most (7) related to health outcomes (mental health, wellness, prevention, etc.), one addressed patient access issues (patient cost savings), and one recognized a technology type (application of AI). Additionally, two also spotlighted UCSF-specific contributions to the field (i.e. Best technology with UCSF DNA).

In the coming days, I looking forward to delving into the results of the following four sub-categories to learn more about the leaders, vision and impact that each team has had on our industry who each had remarkable insights to share during the awards ceremony:  (1) New application of AI, where the winner was Viz.ai, (2) Remote Diagnostics, where the winner was Conversa Health; (3) Mental and Behavioral Health, where the winner was Ginger; and (4) UCSF DNA, where the winner among UCSF applicants was Akili Health.

 

Jonathan Byrnes: Coronavirus – Five Rules for Growing Customer Loyalty

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Gratitude Jonathan Byrnes, who joined the HBS Association of Northern California during the early weeks of the COVID crisis to educate the community on the topic of supply chain management. This topic is of imminent importance as it can help organizations improve access to needed resources while addressing the issue of organizational sustainability. This is extremely relevant to the distribution of PPE and other vital products and services today. Further, unless organizations manage quickly and carefully, their long-term viability is at-risk.

 

Interestingly, in the media, there has been a great deal of interest in his work because otherwise the conversation during the pandemic has centered on leadership vs management tactics, including supply chain. In his view, “There is little information regarding systematic, hands-on management in crisis.”

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Jonathan is considered the creator of the field which we shared during his recent webinar, vendor-managed inventory,  and has had extensive experience across industries, including health care, and geographies, including Indonesia. It was in Indonesia where he observed the country experiencing a supply chain shock not dissimilar to what we are experiencing today on a global basis.

 

It was fascinating to learn about Jonathan’s values and his career. He is driven by taking on new challenges, and therefore enjoys combining a career in academia, consulting, and profit analytics software. Through his work as a professor at MIT and as the principal of Profit Isle, a SaaS profit analytics company that has accelerated the profitability of over $100 billion in client revenue, he has worked with thought-leaders, like Ben Shapiro, Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing, Emeritus at HBS, among others, to create important innovations in his field. These have resulted in important improvements both on how customers get access to the products they need, and on business profitability and sustainability.

 

Highlights of his presentation included observations on the tendency of organizations to use inefficient models for profitability assessment. Specifically, he pointed out that there are customers that either augment or drain profits and that businesses should focus on serving the customers that generate the most profits and spend fewer resources on unprofitable ones. This goes against the more common but far more destructive tendency to service them all.

 

Additionally, we learned that there are certain “secret weapons” during crises like these, including (1) substitutions (he cited Dell as an example), as well as (2) preventing over-ordering, which involves both addressing the tendency to over-order and to over-produce. It was interesting to learn that most of the supply chain disruptions we are reading about today could have been prevented with expert management.

 

To learn more about Jonathan Byrnes and his recommendations regarding supply chain management during the crisis, we encourage HBS Association of Northern California members to view his webinar and to read , Coronavirus: Five Rules for Growing Customer Loyalty.

 

 

 

“Secret” Source of Innovation in Medicine: RSNA

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The weekend after Thanksgiving, Radiologists from across the country – and the world – descend on Chicago for the annual RSNA (Radiological Society of North America) conference. This has been one of the world’s largest healthcare conferences for 105 years. Ironically, not even those in Chicago, where the conference will contribute $150M to the city’s economy in a single week, realize the value of Radiology to the future of health care.

For those interested in the origins of innovation in the healthcare industry, this is an important event. Consider following it on Twitter at #RSNA19 to learn about next-generation image storage and sharing, ethical debates surrounding AI, new techniques to “destroy” prostate cancer,  possible treatments for Alzheimer’s disease using focussed ultrasound, and more.

 

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From December 1- December 6, Chicago’s McCormick Center, uniquely suited by  its size to house trade floors lecture halls the size of football fields, becomes the networking hub for the industry. Each day, participants walk miles back and forth to attend lectures, review poster presentations, view new technologies on the trade floor and engage in dynamic in-person and online meetings across academia, industry and other domains. For those interested in the source of true innovation in the health care industry, you quickly realize there is nothing quite like this conference.

When I attended RSNA in 2015 and 2017, I was stunned by the sheer size of the gathering, the breadth of classes, etc. However,  it was on the trade floor, where I believe I witnessed innovation at its best. Here, I witnessed some of the dynamic exchanges between academics, clinicians, operational administrators at vendors that will be shaping the future of medicine. Each party provided evidence regarding the impact of in-person meetings at RSNA RSNA and how those interactions help fuel the next generation of devices that will resolve the next patient/population challenge. As a child of Silicon Valley, I don’t believe it is a coincidence that the interface between technology and medicine is especially powerful in the field of radiology. Many don’t realize that many leaders have dual engineering and medical degrees, making their outlook toward technology and creative problem solving particularly astute. 

For a taste of these break-throughs and a view of what’s on the horizon of Medicine, visit the RSNA 2019 Press Page, as,  releases are made public during press meetings each day in Chicago this week. Following the conference from San Francisco this year, I was fascinated to learn about new solutions to online storage and sharing of medical images, among other developments  that have been announced since the conference opened only a day ago including: 

  1. Building and Implementing a New, Cloud-Native Imaging Database
  2. The Ethical Threat of AI in Medicine
  3. RSNA 2019 Presents Session on Lung Injury from Vaping
  4. Novel MRI-Guided Ultrasound Treatment Destroys Prostate Cancer

In the coming days, the releases below will go live  as well. Visit the RSNA Press Room to learn more here, or, for a taste of being on-site, tune into the conference hashtag #RSNA19 on Twitter.

  1. AI Helps Find Signs of Heart Disease on Lung Cancer Screens
  2. Focused Ultrasound May Open Door to Alzheimer’s Treatment
  3. Concussion Alters How Information Is Transmitted Within the Brain
  4. Imaging Reveals Pathways Behind Depression
  5. New Study Looks at Motorized Scooter Injuries

 

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RSNA Quick Facts:

  1. 105th Radiologic Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting
  2. Sunday, December 1 – Friday, December 6, 2019, McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois
  3. 52,985 registrants in 2018
  4. 1,662 scientific papers to be presented
  5. 440 education courses and 6 plenary sessions
  6. 1,905 education exhibits and 904 scientific posters featured in the Lakeside Learning Center

A Taste of the Future of Medicine – The UCSF Digital Health Awards Ceremony

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With the splendor of an Academy Awards ceremony, UCSF Innovation Ventures and Digital Health Hub recently hosted the first inaugural Digital Health Awards at UCSF. The event provided a glimpse into the future of medicine.  Tune in to the recorded livestream event.   In 1-2 hours, or a few minutes of scrolling, you will learn how the industry defines itself, its leadership and more. Congratulations to UCSF Innovation Ventures and Digital Health Hub for this bold approach to gathering visionaries (the judges, contestents and presenters). We believe this effort will have a positive impact on the industry going forward.

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Highlights included:

  1. The award for the best application of AI, introduced by Barry Pell, Founding Fellow, World Changing Ventures. He said that he believes that “almost every aspect of health will be transformed by AI….AI has the chance to augment and enhance human decision making ….It also has the chance to stand in for medical expertise and health as a coach and motivator, tracking and judging people to draw upon the best knowledge and medicine most knowledge wherever they are…. It even has the chance to serve anyone who may not even have access medical care.“ The winner of this category was Livongo. (At 1:22 of the recording)
  2. The award for Consumer Wellness and Prevention, introduced by Bob Wachter, Author of The Digital Doctor, and Chair of the Department of medicine at UCSF. He who added a note re the ongoing challenge of knowledge of the tech community and their understanding of the how med is practiced and the patient journey, and, those in academia and their understanding of both business and technology concepts with concepts such as scaling. The winner of this category was. Hyper-regulated so perhaps easier to innovate. The winner was Butterfly Network. (At 1:31 of the recording)
  3. The Cardiovascular Diagnostics award, presented by Michael Lesh, 4-time entrepreneur Executive Director, Health Technology Innovation Catalyst, for introducing the category of Cardiovascular Digital Diagnostics and announcing the winner, Nanowear. We were inspired by the comment made by CEO and founder. Venk Vanadan, who added this perspective: “As I think of digital health, it will take a village to really deliver the promise of what digital health should be. He added, “… this is to thank all the entrepreneurs in digital health that are fighting the fight that needs to be fought.” This is an important reminder of the extent of effort that is needed to create positive change in the health care industry and the role of entrepreneurs in making this happen. (At 1:47 of the recording)

 

Rahul Desikan – Generously donating the precious moments he has left to data…and providing answers for the next generation

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According to his recent editorials in the Washington Post and STAT, it is clear: There may be no cure for Rahul Desikan, MD, but for the next generation of patients, the answer lies in the data.Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 8.41.25 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As ALS descends upon him, Dr. Desikan, an assistant professor of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, Neurology and Pediatrics at UCSF, and co-director of Laboratory for Precision Neuroimaging, is generously spending the precious moments he has left to live helping to solve the unresolved question – how to detect ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases early enough (and precisely enough) so they can be cured.

 What does this look like? What does Dr. Desikan  do as a scientist?

Many of us imagine research labs with test tubes and chemicals. For researchers like Dr. Desikan, the lab relies on a computer screen. He writes: “My laboratory at UCSF meets with me every week and we mine through data from millions of people trying to find answers.” One of Dr. Desikan’s unique qualities as a scientist is his ability to see patterns in data that go unnoticed by others.

I have followed his narrative over the last year and am heartbroken at what is happening to Dr. Desikan  and his family. If we can see anything positive in this wrenching story, it is that as a scientist, he is using himself as a case study to reveal that all of us need to become more familiar with genetics and how they influence our health. Through his work, he is helping our community understand how fields like radiology and neurology together, are helping unravel the individual variations and corresponding treatments that could save lives. His work is taking genetics to a new level. If Dr. Desikan’s vision becomes a reality, one day it may be possible for us to know about our genetic predisposition to certain diseases like ALS, among many others. Further, there will be individualized treatments available to address our needs.

Thank you, Dr. Desikan, for making your voice heard. I pray for you and your family and that your vision of using data to identify individual approaching to treating diseases like ALS will impact the lives of those who follow in your footsteps.