Eric is currently Chief Science Officer at Datavant, an innovative new company with the mission to organize the worlds healthcare data. Eric is also Visiting Scientist in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School and a frequent volunteer advisor to Médecins Sans Frontières and other international aid and relief NGOs. Most recently Eric was Senior Vice President and Head of the Takeda R&D Data Science Institute where he built an integrated institute of more than 165 multi-disciplinary data scientists serving all aspects of biopharmaceutical R&D and digital health. Read his full bio.

Interview with Eric Perakslis from Datavant

Q: What need is Datavant addressing?

A: While the volume of health data grows precipitously year over year, our ability to make use of that data is not keeping pace. There are many aspects to the inherent challenges and opportunities of this data explosion but of particular concern is the increased fragmentation. Each new clinical study, consortium and/or large federal grant inevitably creates a tailored knowledge base that, in effect, is the next data silo and the fragmentation compounds. We have a paper out this month in Nature Drug Discovery that calls for a much ‘bigger’ data approach to the massive unmet medical need of Alzheimers’ disease (AD) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29977050. In this paper we suggest that, to make progress in all the unknown aspects of AD, we must start by linking all existing AD data sets/sources and only add prospectively to this master linked source. It is not only doable, it is necessary.

A key challenge to this type of progress are the frictions that arise from the competing ideals, competing institutions, technology incompatibilities, the need for global ethics and IRB oversight etc. We can do ‘bigger data’ much better but still must protect patient privacy and to leverage past patient data to provide better care to future patients. We address this problem through offering a suite of software solutions that reduce the friction for sharing and de-siloing data across the industry all while protecting patient privacy.

Q: What are the products and/or services Datavant offers/develops to address this need? What makes Datavant unique?

A: I think it is our ambitions that make Datavant unique. We see a completely unmet set of opportunities in healthcare data that are essentially untouched. One way to visualize the opportunity are as the macro and micro silos of healthcare data. The micro silo problem is reasonably well understood. When people choose to work together and share data via consortia, grant or other data club, there are plenty of ways to do it. Good examples are Project DataSphere (https://projectdatasphere.org/projectdatasphere/html/home) or the extensive use of tranSMART (http://transmartfoundation.org/) by IMI consortia, both efforts we strongly endorse. But what about the macro silos?

The progress on Apple Healthkit is amazing, but my 70-year old mom cannot afford a thousand-dollar iPhone. Where is the Android version? That is a macro silo. More specifically to Datavant, there is the massive gap between drug development and medical practice. Those data exist in different regulatory regimes, in different types of institutions and are fire-walled against competition and re-use. What if every patient visit generated the equivalent of a case report form that could be submitted to the FDA. There has been great progress in real world data and evidence, but the macro silo remains untouched. Lastly, healthcare data is growing rapidly but is still a small percent of data that exists about each of us. There is great energy and promise in social determinants of health. How can the other 99% of data about us that exists outside of our medical records be used to improve and ensure our health?

Today, the core of Datavant’s offering is a on-premise software solution for de-identifying datasets in a manner that preserves the ability to link it to other data at the patient level. This enables our customers to stitch together de-identified datasets that come from a range of sources without compromising patient privacy. Datavant is also rolling out a new service which creates an ‘index’ of anonymous patients from participating data sources, offering a rapid means of identifying overlap (and therefore partnership opportunities) across multiple datasets.

Today, our services target the micro silo problem. As they evolve, our offerings will tackle the macro silo challenge.

Q: What is your role at Datavant and what excites you about your work?

A: As CSO, my role is to think deeply about the problems in healthcare and to help envision solutions that will enable and deliver transformational success for our partners in their data strategies. If I get that right, it automatically ensures innovative products and solutions for Datavant.

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Q: When thinking about Datavant and the domain Datavant is working in, what are some of the recent breakthroughs that are propelling the field forward and how will they impact healthcare?

A: We’re experiencing a moment where a large number of healthcare institutions and healthcare product companies are realizing that they are actually data companies at their core. Datavant offers a path to exploit these untapped aspects of their practices, businesses and research institutions. It is early days but, so far, our greatest accomplishments are the new data linking and privacy preserving capabilities we have brought to these organizations.

For me personally, it is the new and novel research studies and partnerships we have launched that, once complete, will demonstrate the value of thinking about and using data differently. Today, these are proprietary to our partners but they will be revealed in clinical study designs and new publications soon.

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Q: What are the short-term challenges that Datavant and its peers are facing?

A: Traditional thinking is always a barrier but also well worth the effort to overcome. This has been a core challenge to my change agent role in every position I have held. I actually love it. Well-intentioned but complex new regulation, such as GDPR has introduced a great deal of uncertainty for any party working with European datasets, though we expect that the path forward on this will become progressively clear in the future.

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Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with the PMWC audience?

A: Only that, if any of you have a really complex healthcare data challenge that appears to be a barrier that is preventing transformational progress or change, I would love to talk about it.

Cheers!

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Interview with Ralph Snyderman from Duke University

Q: What research are you or your lab focusing on and why, and what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

A: My work involves designing, implementing and studying innovations in medical education that allow our medical schools to fulfill our social contract to improve the health of our communities and reduce the suffering of our patients.

Read More

Interview with Catherine Reinis Lucey from UCSF

Q: What research are you or your lab focusing on and why, and what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

A: My work involves designing, implementing and studying innovations in medical education that allow our medical schools to fulfill our social contract to improve the health of our communities and reduce the suffering of our patients.

Read More

Interview with Gunnar Carlsson from Ayasdi

Q: What need is Ayasdi addressing?

A: Ayasdi is pioneering the application of artificial intelligence to value-based care by targeting two of the most complex problems in healthcare: population risk stratification and clinical variation management.

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Interview with Nikole Kimes from Siolta Therapeutics

Q: What need is Siolta Therapeutics addressing?

A: Chronic diseases, including inflammatory diseases such as asthma, now represent the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide.

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Note from Dr. Patrick Conway, President & CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield NC to PMWC

VC activity is booming in healthcare, with second quarter drawing in $5.1 billion in capital. That is 22% of the total $23 billion raised by all VC-based companies in the U.S., according to latest Pricewaterhouse Coopers quarterly report.

Read More

Interview with Atul Sharan, Co-founder and CEO, CellMax Life

Q: CellMax has developed non-invasive blood tests based on Circulating tumor cells CTC. How do you see these tests being adopted clinically?

A: Survival rates are greater than 90% for cancers that are detected at an early stage.

Read More

Interview with Wendell Jones from Q² Solutions | EA Genomics

Q: What need is Q² Solutions | EA Genomics addressing?

A: As a leading provider of genomic services in clinical trials and discovery, Q² Solutions | EA Genomics advances science by harnessing technological expertise to drive understanding of the human genome and disease biology to detect the effects of therapies.

Read More

Interview with Ben Solomon from GeneDx

Q: What need is GeneDx addressing?

A: GeneDx was started in 2000 by two NIH scientists with the mission of making genetic testing accessible for patients with rare diseases.

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Interview with Ty Ridenour from RTI International

Q: What need is RTI International addressing?

A: As an independent research institute, RTI is dedicated to improving the human condition. We answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach—one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development.

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Interview with Madhuri Hegde, Vice President and Chief Science Officer of PerkinElmer’s Global Laboratory Services

Q: What need is Global Laboratory Services addressing?

A: PerkinElmer Genomics is global (genomics) laboratory service with laboratories in US, India and China, addressing genetic/genomic testing across the globe.

Read More

Interview with Rita R. Colwell from University of Maryland College Park and John Hopkins School of Public Health

Q: What research are you or your lab focusing on and why, and what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

A: The research that I am focusing on is understanding the microbiome of the human system and the environment, which means understanding the gut flora and its relationship to health and disease.

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Interview with Dr. Nicholas Dracopoli from Personal Genome Diagnostics

Q: What need is Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) addressing?

A: PGDx is developing standardized, clinical Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) kits to help enable effective treatment decisions for cancer patients.

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Interview with Mohsen Hejrati from Clusterone

Q: What need is Clusterone addressing?

A: AI and machine learning are becoming cornerstone technologies for scientists and engineers, but access to these technologies is still cumbersome.

Read More

VC Investment in Precision Medicine Boomed in Q2 Mega-deals Hitting Record Levels

VC activity is booming in healthcare, with second quarter drawing in $5.1 billion in capital. That is 22% of the total $23 billion raised by all VC-based companies in the U.S., according to latest Pricewaterhouse Coopers quarterly report.

Read More

Interview with Patrick Conway from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Q: In the past, you served as director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. What are you most proud of accomplishing at CMMI?

A: During my tenure at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, one of my many roles included serving as the Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

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University of Michigan

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), held annually in Silicon Valley, is coming back to North Carolina for its 2nd Conference back at Duke University on September 24-25, 2018.

PMWC 2018 Duke, the 15th installment of the conference, will spotlight the explosion of biomedical technologies, driving initiatives that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care.

 

  • Track 1 will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
    • Digital Phenotyping
    • Precision Public Health
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • The Microbiome
    • Rare Disease Diagnosis
    • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
    • Early Days of Life Sequencing
    • Diversity in Precision Medicine
    • Resilience
    • AI and Machine Learning
    • Gene Editing
    • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Point-of Care Dx Platform
    • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
    • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
    • Next Gen. Workforce of PM
    • Immunotherapy
    • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
    • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
    • Neoantigens
    • Emerging Technologies In PM

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), held annually in Silicon Valley, is coming back to North Carolina for its 2nd Conference back at Duke University on September 24-25, 2018.

PMWC 2018 Duke, the 15th installment of the conference, will spotlight the explosion of biomedical technologies, driving initiatives that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care.

 

    • Track 1 will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
      • Digital Phenotyping
      • Precision Public Health
      • Pharmacogenomics
      • The Microbiome
      • Rare Disease Diagnosis
      • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
      • Early Days of Life Sequencing
      • Diversity in Precision Medicine
      • Resilience
      • AI and Machine Learning
      • Gene Editing
      • Large Scale Bio-data Resources
        to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Point-of Care Dx Platform
      • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
      • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
      • Next Gen. Workforce of PM
      • Immunotherapy
      • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
      • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy
        ctDNA, etc.
      • Neoantigens
      • Emerging Technologies In PM
  • Track 2- PMWC 2018 Duke Showcase, will enable 15-minute company presentations on latest novel technologies. Apply to present here.
big data diagnostics session

Clinical Dx Showcase

crispr showcase

Emerging Therapeutics Showcase

NGS Showcase

Genomic Profiling Showcase

AI Showcase Session Image

AI and Data Sciences Showcase

  • Luminary and Pioneer Awards, honoring individuals who contributed, and continue to contribute, to the field of Precision Medicine
  • 500+ multidisciplinary attendees, from across the entire spectrum of healthcare, representing different types of companies, technologies, and medical centers with leadership roles in precision medicine

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