Building the Trust Infrastructure for Synthetic Bi...

Jurassic World. Orphan Black. Splice. Helix. Synthetic biology is the inspiration behind these and many other popular science fiction movies and television series, and it seems that the public cannot get enough of them. While these stories provide entertainment with their extreme scenarios, more importantly, they are also raising critical issues around the moral and ethical implications of modifying and/or creating life. And as we get closer to dropping the “fiction” from “science fiction”, everyone needs to be a part of this conversation. Genome engineering technologies have advanced to the point that we are creating synthetic...

‘Power to the People’ Gets Real in Research

In a recent blog at the NY Times, Steve Lohr observes that “Traditionally, patient information has been tapped for research in large pooled databases” but that is changing due to “Institutional practice, individual attitudes and new technology…” leading to new opportunities in research. He quotes Dr. Stephen Friend of Sage Bionetworks: “The patient, doctor and researcher – each is a different kind of expert.” Mr. Lohr and Dr. Friend are right on target. We are seeing exactly these trends play out in real-time in www.iConquerMS.org – an initiative funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute  – designed not...

A National Agenda On Personalized Medicine

Last week’s State of the Union address included an important announcement: the Obama administration intends to re-focus its efforts to accelerate innovation in “precision” or personalized medicine. Last week, the White House gave more detail about what that focus would look like – the official press release includes information on a $215 billion investment that includes: $130 million to NIH for development of a voluntary national research cohort of a million or more volunteers to propel our understanding of health and disease and set the foundation for a new way of doing research through engaged participants and open, responsible...

A New Journey To The Center

Most people remember Jules Verne’s best-selling science fiction novel, and the films it inspired, about a journey to the center of the earth filled with “natural hazards.” As a society, we have embarked on an equally thrilling and far more science-based journey in which we seek to place the patient at the center of healthcare and our health care system. Personalized medicine can be seen as the perfect ‘vehicle’ to that patient-focused core of care, fueled by the specificity of molecular diagnostics and targeted therapeutics. So, on the 10th anniversary of the Personalized Medicine Conference, and the 13th...

The Evolving Role of Social Media and Healthcare

Social media and healthcare are two separate, yet rapidly evolving and highly influential industries. While each looks completely unique at the surface, from a 10,000 foot view they face some of the same hurdles, including: utilizing big data, privacy, behavior change and effectively reaching audiences with disparate levels of access to services. A recent Twitter chat, presented by HIMSS Future Care, focused on the evolving roles of social media and healthcare, as well as how they can effectively be combined and leverage new trends and technologies to tackle ever present problems like cost containment, unmet needs and value-based...

@FKHealth Reporting Live From #HDPalooza

Digital health is a topic that brings together experts from often seemingly divergent groups: entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, journalists, academics, researchers and government leaders. These different perspectives shed light on the complexities and interconnectedness involved in the delivery of quality healthcare. At Health Datapalooza 2014, the premier national conference focused on unleashing the power of open health data, we experienced what happens when you get these people in the same room. Over the course of three days in Washington, D.C., attendees participated in workshops and challenges, listened to industry thought...