Dr. Eric Topol, voted by Modern Healthcare as the most influential physician executive in the United States, shared his thoughts on why people should own and control their own data.

Dr. Topol, a world-renowned cardiologist, geneticist, digital medicine researcher, and prolific author, is a true pioneer in personalized medicine. In 1975, he wrote his baccalaureate thesis, “Prospects for Genetic Therapy in Man” earning him an undergraduate degree with highest distinction from the University of Virginia. His work in the genomics of heart attack has led to the discovery of key genes and resulted in recognition by the American Heart Association as one of the top 10 research advances of the year, twice. Topol is Founder and Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. In 2016, Topol was awarded a $207 million NIH grant to direct a large portion of All of Us (Precision Medicine Initiative), the one million American prospective research program). Read his full bio.

Dr. Topol will present and be honored at PMWC 2018 Michigan taking place June 6-7, 2018.

Q: Genomics, Digital Health, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are some of the newest technologies/fields that are reshaping medicine and healthcare. How and when will they impact healthcare?

A: Right now, we have extraordinary potential to understand the medical essence of human beings in an unprecedented fashion. Surrounding that, there is considerable hype, while we also see some real advances – so there is a mixture of substance and hyperbole. Yet, it is undeniable: sensors, genomics, imaging, advanced analytics and particularly deep learning, a major subtype of artificial intelligence, are all making big strides. They are clearly going to make an impact on the future of medicine.

The progress is quite heterogeneous, with respect to medical conditions, timing ,and who will be affected. If you look at the person, the consumer, these technologies will be able to help manage a condition like diabetes. But today, the algorithms are dumb and only inform a patient that their glucose is going up or down, and they don’t factor in anything else in their lives. We now have far better glucose sensors that are factory calibrated, that will eventually, at lower costs, will make finger-sticks obsolete with smart algorithms. These glucose data will be integrated with other data: your activity, your sleep, your levels of stress, your nutrition, your gut microbiome, and much more. That will help coach people to regulate their glycemic levels far better than what we do today, and we will transcend imprecise parameters like glycohemoglobin. This is just one example of a new data and analytic framework for diabetic patients, or even people simply at risk for diabetes. The same kind of example would apply for high blood pressure or any other common chronic conditions. Eventually, but this will take much longer, we will see this across a person’s health –the approaches will be holistic. This is all on the individual level, but there are obviously many other levels (for doctors, hospitals, etc) where big data, AI, and the digital genomic revolution are going to have a significant effect.

Q: Is it feasible to successfully implement individualized/precision medicine for everyone and what are the biggest challenges?

A: Yes, it is feasible. Our number one problem today is the inability for people to have all of their data. No one has all of their medical data from birth, or even prenatal, all the way through life. Every medical encounter, every lab, every scan – no one has all that data, unlike places like Estonia and other countries where patients have and own all that data. This is step number one and currently we are still far away from that, but eventually that has to occur to maximize the data’s impact and to help preserve one’s health. If we are going to work with very limited data it is going to be a serious impediment in the area of AI. Instead of health systems and doctors owning the data, people need to own their data– it is vital that this flip occurs. And patients will very happily share their data with specific health providers, doctors, and others. But they need to be the ones who are making that decision.

Q: Some of these approaches to personalized medicine require individuals to continuously monitor a range of personal readings, such as blood pressure, glucose levels and heart rate. In light of recent renewed concerns regarding data security and patient data privacy, how will people’s minds and the general culture be changed to trust the collection and sharing of personal data with providers, via wearables or smartphones?

A: This is the number one issue for me, which will hold us back–privacy and security of the data. The endless sea of data breaches – whether it is Facebook or MyFitnessPal – can’t be tolerated in the medical world. This is another reason why people have to own their data and on a secure platform, like Blockchain or a private cloud. We need to achieve the highest level of data security and personal ownership. If you ask any cyber security guru for the best strategy, in relation to avoidance of data breaches, the first step is getting the data out of massive servers and getting it into units of one or small family units. Massive data servers are incredibly attractive to cyber thieves and hackers and medical data sells for 5-fold more than personal financial data on the Dark Web. This is yet another reason why people must own their data and have it made fully secure.

Q: How can we accelerate the developments, and deliver on the promises of precision/individualized medicine?

A: Give people control over all their data and let them own it. But we are a long way from that. We are seeing some first instances with Apple enabling people to get their data from health systems that have a portal and are cooperating with Apple. This is a good start. And that happened quickly, so for example, I got some of my data from both Scripps Health and UCSD Health, so for the first time I have that and my sensor data in one place, at my fingertips. There’s plenty of missing data, like scans, and multiple providers, but it’s far better than trying to go to multiple, clunky health system portals. This is the beginning of a quiet revolution for people – not just having their data, but eventually also owning it. This is a new development that will continue to evolve and be built upon, and this is important. It’s a signal of what is to come. We can’t do deep learning AI for any individual optimally without all of their data.

Besides data security the biggest problem are the deep learning algorithms that are so remarkable and can read scans, read slides, transform speech to text, etc. They all have to be validated, prospectively, in the clinical environment. What we have today is lots of in silico analysis and retrospective validation, but that is not good enough to change medicine. We need to see all of these things, whether it is retinal diagnosis, an EKG, or a heart arrhythmia, any type of medical scan, cancer pathology slides, or skin lesions—validated prospectively so that the medical community can accept it. None of this has been done to date. There isn’t one prospective clinical validation of these promising deep learning algorithms yet. At least nothing that has been published as of April 2018.

Interview with Daniella Beller, Manager, Maccabi Research Institute Biobank

Q: What makes the Maccabi Research Institute biobank unique?

A: To explain the uniqueness of the Maccabi Biobank (named “Tipa” in Hebrew which means “drop” or “just a little”), first you must know a little about Maccabi.

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Why We Need Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) To Foster Drug Discovery

Investments in pharma R&D has substantially increased over the last decades. Yet there appears to be no clear correlation to the number of newly approved drugs. This fact is accompanied by ever-increasing healthcare costs, fueled by an aging population and the parallel rise in the chronic disease burden.

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Precision Medicine: A Decade of Improving the Standard of Care

In January, PMWC will host its 2019 Silicon Valley event, the largest Precision Medicine conference in the world with over 2,500 attendees gathering at the Santa Clara Convention Center. We are humbled and honored to have reached this stage of growth and are looking forward to continuing our work with key stakeholders and decision makers across the industry to ever strengthen this forum for exchange of critical and timely topics, to move the field of precision medicine forward and to improve the Standard of Care.

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Interview with David Hong from Karius

Q: What need is Karius addressing?

A: Physicians often have difficulty pinpointing the exact pathogen that is causing disease. Conventional diagnostics like blood cultures or PCR can have poor sensitivity due to pretreatment with antibiotics, the breadth of potential pathogens present, and the requirement for invasive procedures to access deep-seated infections.

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Interview with Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD from HL7

Q: What need is HL7 addressing?

A: For more than three decades, HL7 has provided the platform to enable global health data interoperability. This is more important than ever, as the cost of healthcare has increased exponentially, and the complexity of clinical evidence has grown to an almost unmanageable state.

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Interview with Eden Haverfield from Invitae

Q: What need is Invitae addressing?

A: Our mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medical practice to improve the quality of healthcare for billions of people. Invitae is uniquely positioned to answer some of life’s most serious and complex questions with the highest quality genetics and at an affordable price.

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Call by Ralph Snyderman (Duke U.) for Big Changes to Get to the Next Level of Precision Medicine

Beyond next-generation gene sequencing and developing diagnostic tools and targeted therapies, theoverall approach to clinical care has to be re-envisioned to fulfill the promise of precision medicine. Care must move from sporadic treatment of episodic disease (a reactive mode) to predicting disease and then acting to prevent and mitigate it (a proactive mode).

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Interview with William Hearl From Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.

Q: What need is Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. addressing?

A: Immunomic Therapeutics’ nucleic acid vaccines have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response, including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory.

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Interview with Ralph Snyderman from Duke University

Q: What are some of the critical contributions that academic institutions and medical centers are making to implement and accelerate precision medicine?

A: Over the past decade, the field of precision medicine has created technologies enabling far more personalized and effective health care delivery. Many of the most dramatic advances have come in the field of oncology but targeting care to the needs of the individual is rapidly achieving broader applications.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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