Posts Tagged innovation

Data Readiness in Healthcare to Unlock AI Potential


What Is Data Readiness? In simple language, it consists of all the tasks required to ensure that artificial intelligence (AI) platforms learn from reliable and relevant data sources.

What is the state of data readiness in healthcare?  According to a recent report, lack of data readiness is preventing healthcare leaders from driving rapid, effective, measurable and sustainable transformation and this impedes their ability to execute. 

Over 90 percent of healthcare executives mention prepping for data readiness as their top priority. A vast majority of them are planning to invest in technologies designed to improve data readiness and support systemic interoperability. According to the report, in addition to financial issues and staffing capacity crunch, interoperability is another issue that is blocking innovation. Interoperability is key for a seamless transition achievable through unlocking the full potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. 

As in financial, auto and other industries, AI is expected to have a huge impact on health care delivery, access and on financial and clinical outcomes in health. Healthcare as an industry transitions to newer systems at a much slower pace. Tendency is to pour money into older technologies that tend to create more data silos, as remarked by Abhinav Shashank, co-founder & CEO of Innovaccer.  

The crisis is so acute and the promise of closing the data readiness gap to realize the full potential of digital transformation is so immense that it is imperative to act on it. 

An exciting panel at @TiEcon2022 moderated by Chris Waugh, Chief Innovation Officer at Sutter Health with panelists Prat Vemana, Chief Digital Officer at Kaiser Permanente and Abhinav Shashank, Founder & CEO at Innovaccer will address the challenges and opportunities of data readiness in healthcare and the promise it holds in enhancing industry collaboration to improve outcomes and reducing costs. 
Register ASAT at www.tiecon.org to avail of early bird incentives.

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Science making the impossible, possible!! Albert Bourla – grand keynote at #TiEcon2022


I am eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to hear Dr. Albert Bourla give a grand keynote on Day 2 at #TiEcon2022 in May at Santa Clara, CA.

As Chairman and CEO, since 2019, Dr. Bourla has led Pfizer through one of its greatest challenges when the world was looking to scientists and pharmaceutical companies for answers to the sudden calamity represented by covid.  In a rare mode of cooperation and unprecedented speed, scientists began furiously working for a vaccine. However, their work was also proceeding against a backdrop of political drama that was unfolding in the USA. 

Very likely scientists and leaders of pharmaceutical companies had no interest in maneuvering the political minefield and yet it became unavoidable when Mr. Trump predicted a breakthrough vaccine  before Election Day. News of Pfizer’s success however, only arrived right AFTER the election was called for Joseph Biden. The story of Pfizer and its research partner, the German firm BioNTech, both of who declined the money from the federal effort, “Operation Warp Speed” and Moderna who accepted the money from the Government that was led by science denying President Mr. Trump, unfolded against the backdrop of politics, science, and incredible high stakes for humankind. The resulting accomplishments by these companies and others are as fascinating as they are impressive. Bourla was awarded the 2022 Genesis Prize for his leadership in the development of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid 19 vaccine.

During his 25+ years at Pfizer, Bourla has emphasized his commitment to help ensure equitable healthcare access to medicines and patients. However, Bourla also opposes government interference in pharmaceutical pricing, which he has argued would hamper spending on development of new drugs.  As per a recent RAND Corporation report, US prescription drug prices are higher than in most other countries. The Biden Administration released a plan to decrease prescription drug costs covered by the Medicare program, and later dropped the initiatives, after objections from some key Democrats. Bourla has observed that drug prices are in fact going down and more importantly, drug prices are only a small portion of the overall US healthcare spending.

It will be fascinating to hear Mr. Bourla speak on these and other health and healthcare related issues at TieCon2022. During covid challenges, when many prayed as never before for the lives of their loved ones, world also realized that besides the divine, our next best hope for better life rests in the hands of #science.

Register ASAP for the #TiEcon2022 conference at @TiEcon www.tiecon.org to access early bird incentives.

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Armon Dadgar, CTO – HashiCorp: Enabling Innovation


Grand keynote: Armon Dadgar, CTO- HashiCorp – Enabling Innovation

Preparations are in full swing for #TiEcon2022 at Santa Clara, CA in May, 2022. Among an exciting lineup of speakers and panels at this largest entrepreneurship focused conference will be Armon Dadgar,  CTO & co-founder of HashiCorp giving a grand keynote on day 1.

HashiCorp is one of the fastest growing tech companies in the cloud and DevOps space. With its open source tools, Hashicorp supports the development and deployment of large scale service oriented software installations and enables companies to deliver applications faster. Each tool focuses on specific stages in the life cycle of a software application, with a goal towards automation.

With a range of products like Terraform, HashiCorp Vault, HashiCorp Nomad, and HashiCorp Consu, it has truly emerged as a company that enables innovation. Highly respected by the developer community, Hashicorp is a prominent open-source promoter and is also a leader in all remote working practice.

Armon Dadgar says, as CTO at Hashicorp, he combined his passion for security and distributed systems and their applications to solve real world problems, through the world of DevOps tooling. In early childhood, when children were still leaving cookies for Santa, Armon begged his parents to get him a coding book for Christmas. His parents also gave him a box set of .NET kit and he used it to build games like Tetris and Tic-Tac-Toe. 

The secret of Dadgar’s success seems to be in the way in which he puts himself in the shoes of the user community. Speaking of the transition from writing code to managing people, Dadgar says, “making the shift from IC-land to manager land was a tough one”, but it helped to internalize that “I can only be so effective with just two hands at a keyboard. But if I can train 10, 20 other people to think the way I do, or to apply the same design principles, then it’s like I have 20 hands at the keyboard”. 

Initially, Dadgar says he felt he knew the system better than anyone else, that he would think about edge cases, he could be the code reviewer, but at some point, he realized it wasn’t practical. Then a new realization set in that after all software is malleable, it can be fixed, it’s not set in stone. That seems to be a key leadership skill that is constantly called for when one leads and manages people. 

Register for TiEcon2022 at @TiEcon at www.tiecon.org .

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Imagine how emerging technologies may reshape our world


detail of 3d printer printing a metal pieceAmong the hottest new emerging technologies for 2018, picked by MIT Technology Review, here are some that caught my attention. While 3D printing has been around for a while, it’s only been for plastics, while printing anything in metal is challenging and costly. But recent strides in 3D metal printing that are combining sophisticated software with cheap metal printers (e.g. Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Markforged, Desktop Metal etc.) are enabling precise control of microstructure of metals and will likely enable mass production of parts. Just imagine, you scrape your new Lexus Mini against a pole in the narrow parking space and you get home in the evening and 3D print a new bumper.

VANCOUVER City - CANADAOr imagine a city that makes sense.  A recent project in Toronto, called Quayside is designing urban neighborhoods built around digital technologies. Through an extensive network of sensors, data will be gathered on every aspect of urban life from air quality to noise levels to people’s daily activity patterns and decisions about design and policies will be made to make life more affordable, pleasant, fun and environmentally friendly.

Image of notebook on DNA chains background 
The image symbolizes the innovative technologies in the field of chemistry and Or imagine your baby arriving into the world with a report card that offers probabilities of heart attack, cancer, getting addicted to alcohol or tobacco, or being smarter than average, or being too competitive. LOL.  Through huge genetic studies, some involving more than a million people, this may become possible. It can bring so many new challenges that we better start thinking about all the implications.

Abstract Artificial intelligence. Technology web background. Virtual conceptOr imagine the possibilities of AI. Currently Artificial Intelligence is used mostly in the tech industry. But how AI will transform industries from medicine to manufacturing and energy, are endless. Recently at Ichan School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, a project called “Deep Patient” is based on use of AI to go through mounds of health data, in order to obtain insights about disease risk. With the use of deep learning, a machine learning tool, the computer is learning new things without prior programming. Similarly, at University of Montreal, in an approach known as GAN or a generative adversarial network, two networks are trained on the same data but pitted against each other. This dueling neural networks become proficient and over time gain an independent ability to make sense of the world. And when Artificial Intelligence acquires capability for imagination, the possibilities are endless on how it will impact all aspects of our lives.

You can read about top 10 breakthrough technologies of 2018 at https://www.technologyreview.com/lists/technologies/2018/

Virtual reality, Augmented Reality, Autonomous vehicles and Artificial Intelligence will all intersect with Data, Cloud and will reshape our world in unimaginable ways. Attend TiEInflect 2018 www.TiEInflect.org this Friday and Saturday and get insights into which new technology innovations will have an immediate profound impact on our lives and which ones hold the future potential to turn our world upside down. 

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Challenges and Opportunities in DevOps


Image result for devopsAfter Agile and Waterfall, recent red hot trend in creating optimum software engineering culture in organizations, has been DevOps. DevOps is about unifying software development and operations and aligning it with shared business and product objectives. Creating smoothly functioning DevOps culture helps organizations shorten development cycles and ensure dependable and timely releases.

With DevOps enabling real-time visibility in every layer of software construction, the risk of rapid innovation is reduced as communication barriers are dissolved between teams and feedback loops are shortened. Objective single source data through shared dashboard reduces finger pointing. Companies that have not yet adopted DevOps, increasingly feel the pressure to do so. However, when companies seek to adopt DevOps, they also face challenges.

Image result for not tools, cultureCreating a smoothly functioning DevOps culture, requires creating an optimum environment for the shift in mindset to take hold and enabling a smooth transition process through soft and hard skills training.  Traditionally, goals of Development and Operations are not aligned and handovers between different teams are costly and time consuming. A company seeking to adopt DevOps culture, needs to overcome this mentality and create product aligned team culture, away from project based culture. This is a major mindset shift that may require restructuring in staff and reporting lines, in addition to skills based training. While there is high barrier to entry with microservices, the move to automation and continuous delivery is facilitated by replacing or changing older legacy infrastructure to microservices architecture.

In any organization but more so in one seeking to adopt DevOps culture, people on the team are going to be the most important resources, for a smooth transition. Adopting newer tools may be effective only to the extent that staff receives training to use them and the tools are well integrated with the existing infrastructure.  A shift in culture must be gradual and include change management training to help people embrace the change. It will be easier to bring Dev and Ops teams on board to adopting newer tools if the focus is moved away from personalities and preferences to broader picture and larger, overarching goals of the company.  While the change may be scary at first, adoption may be smoother with objective data and feedback loops from small scale deployments and other teams to see the benefits of it working in real time.

Image result for tieinflectExciting track at TiE Inflect 2018, the largest entrepreneurship conference to take place in May at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, will feature VCs and industry leaders discussing trends, opportunities, and strategies to deal with challenges. Entrepreneurs with eyes towards innovation in DevOps will also get to do a deep dive in the Startup bootcamp, and may learn to become investor ready, learn to effectively network and maximize visibility, and fine tune presentations and pitches. Register for the conference at www.tieinflect.org .

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Where are VCs investing in DevOps


Image result for non copyrighted images, devops, VCsIn software engineering culture, unifying software development and software operation is gaining great momentum. Automation and monitoring at all steps of software construction from integration, testing, releasing to deployment, and infrastructure management, DevOps shortens development cycles, ensures more dependable releases and is more closely aligned with business objectives. Recent M&A activities of DevOps companies like AppDynamics and Automic Software and $100M+ investments in DevOps solution providers like UIPath,, XebiaLabs and Tricentis points to the red hot market, ripe of entrepreneurial innovation.

VCs have clearly embraced this transformation in culture and processes as a more efficient organizational culture for development and deployment practices.  But as yet, DevOps sector is in the early phase. There will be incredible new opportunities for entrepreneurs in this sector, in the next few years. A panel of industry leaders will discuss and opine on new opportunities for entrepreneurs, at TiE Inflect 2018. Register for the largest entrepreneurship conference with exciting tracks in Blockchain, FinTech, DevOps, HealthTech, CyberSecurity, MarTech and more to take place in in May, in Santa Clara, CA  at www.tieinflect.org .

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Life Sciences Industry Outlook for 2018: Post BiotechShowcase & JPM


Image result for Biotech Showcase 2018, JPM18JPM 2018 and concurrent events just ended with what may be one of its biggest draws.  As many as 10,000 people from life science industry and its related sectors are likely to have descended upon the city, during last four days.  In addition to JPM event itself, everything health was under review and up for discussion at various conferences including at EBD Group & Demy Colten’s #BiotechShowcase #DigitalMedicine #BTS18 and #WuXiGlobalForum2018 . Networking and deal making continued late in the nights at various receptions held across the city. Receptions by legal firms like #WilsonSonsini #MoFoLLP #ReedSmithLLP attracted some of the biggest crowds.

IMG_20180110_170128791.jpgOverall the tone for 2018, seemed highly optimistic.  BiotechShowcase held a media roundup and echoes of optimism were heard from almost all panelists @barbara_ryan12 @TriangleInsight @CarolineYLChen @adamfeuerstein @statnews @SFBIZronleuty @BrittanyMeiling @endpts @juliet_preston @medcitynews @ldtimmerman .

Image result for biotech innovationThere is a general agreement that the pace of #innovation in biotech greatly accelerated in 2017 and is likely to continue. According to Luke Timmeerman, “sheer velocity of news in healthtech innovation is fascinating”. Transformative therapies across huge and diverse range of diseases are increasingly focusing on cures and going beyond the short term treatment focus. The surge of innovation has been led by focus on oncology although concern was also raised in one of the panels that we still continue to get stymied and realize how friggin smart the disease of cancer is and if we will truly crack the code on cancer in the immediate upcoming years. All signs are however, that next year we may see critical data from some clinical trials in immuno-oncology space that can cause market spikes.

Here are some areas of concern raised in some of the panels. In 2017, a slight dip was observed in the areas of orphan and rare diseases. Also there seemed to be a general consensus that we need smart policies that incentivize new anti microbial drugs and other treatments for infectious diseases. Due to increasing resistance of antibiotics, there is an ongoing and real fear for some of the infectious diseases to turn into pandemics. These are areas that bold entrepreneurs may focus on. Also medical devices continues to remain somewhat underfunded. Discussions around accelerating healthcare costs and drug pricing issues creeped over into many panels. Entrepreneurs with disruptive pricing innovation in product development as well as healthcare can easily have a tremendous leverage. It can’t be overstressed that finding effective pricing solutions holds key to continued and sustainable growth in healthcare sector.

Discussion in one of the panels focused for a few minutes around large investments in life sciences and if that indicated a healthtech bubble that may be due for a crash.  Indeed, some experts observed that pace of 2017 is unlikely to continue and there may well be a slight dip in 2018. But overall the consensus seemed to be, that a steep and deep pipeline of innovation in R&D is likely to prevent a crash, and the venture funding blizzard is likely to continue. Overall, the feeling among investors and healthcare experts was that among the industry, there is a strong focus on science and people are pursuing innovation with discipline that will ensure unprecedented mechanisms and novel medicines. All this activity is taking healthcare to a new level of cures and sustainability and stability from temporary treatment focus. Exciting indeed to be living in this era of amazing healthcare innovation.

 

 

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Biotech Showcase 2018 Preview: What it will mean to be living in the era of cures & more VC money


Lunch plenary sessions are always a huge draw at Biotech Showcase and are very exciting. On day one, a panel moderated by Sara Radcliff from CLSA will take a 60,000 feet view and will discuss what the future holds for biotechnology and life science sector. Biotechnology is increasingly going beyond treatment to focusing on cures. Day 2 panel moderated by Alice Valder Curran from Hogan Lovells with Eric Aguiar from Aisling, Philippe Lopes-Fernandes from Merck and Camille Samuels from Venrock will discuss “what it means to be in the era of cures”. The panel will discuss how public and private markets are still catching up with new policies on coverage, pricing, and liability issues, making it even more challenging to decide what product candidates to pursue.  Lunch panel on day 3 moderated by Ellen Corenswet from Covington & Burling LLP and populated by prominent VCs and industry experts will reflect on 2017 surge of venture capital.
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Besides all day information packed sessions focused on key diseases that are getting attention http://bit.ly/2pA45B7 , there are interesting panels and sessions on treatment modalities that are the garnering attention of investors and entrepreneurs http://bit.ly/2CjET4G .  And then there will be panels discussing investment in healthcare, what to expect in 2018 from investment perspective and what are likely to be new drivers of innovation in drug development, and new targets, new trends and new combinations in treatment.

Besides three action packed days, the evenings will be packed with countless receptions and networking will continue late into the night. Concurrent 36th annual J P Morgan Healthcare Conference is expecting 400+ public and private companies to deliver presentations to over 8000 attendees. San Francisco will be taken over by everything health for three days, from January 8th through 10th, 2018.  

While JPM conference is by invitation only event, registration is open for Biotech Showcase at conferences@ebdgroup.com or at https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/biotech-showcase/agenda/1

 

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Biotech Showcase 2018 Preview: Treatment focus on microbiome, regenerative medicine, gene & immuno therapies


Image result for biotech showcase 2018Biotech Showcase taking place concurrently with the J P Morgan event in San Francisco, will host more than 3,500 attendees and 900+ investors. This event considered to be a critical strategic benchmark for business development activities in biotech, medtech, pharma and digital health, is regarded as among the year’s most important investor meeting place and sets the tone for financial health in these sectors, for the coming year.  Speakers and attendees at Biotech Showcase, will participate, network and listen to over 400 company presentations. Over 2,100 companies from 50+ countries will participate.  Besides 7000+ one on one meetings, general sessions will focus on a number of topics that are significantly expected to impact the healthcare arena. Here are some of the treatment modalities that are getting interest from both investors and entrepreneurs.

A panel moderated by Joseph Gulfo, Executive Director at Lewis Center for healthcare innovation and technology with Thomas Hallam, CEO of Leading Biosciences, Arpita Maiti, Senior Director, ES&I at Pfizer, Glenn Nedwin, CEO of Second Genome, will start day one. Microbiome refers to internal ecosystem of bacteria, widely believed to be residing in the gut. By some researchers estimates, over 90% of all diseases can be traced to the gut and health of the microbiome. However, new research on lung, skin, inflammation, immunology, and neuro microbiome is bringing together experts in neuroscience, gastroenterology, microbiology and more to unlock even larger role that microbiota plays in interacting with itself and its human host, in understanding disease and health and better understand possible treatment modalities.Image result for microbiome, neuro

Image result for regenerative medicineA panel moderated by Janet Lambert, CEO at Alliance for Regenerative Medicine will discuss next gen cell based immunotherapies with panelists Robert Preti from Hitachi, Bob Azelby from Juno Therapeutics, Manuel Litchman from Mustang Bio, James Noble from Adaptimmunie, Pascal Touchon from Novartis and Scott Walchko from Fate Therapeutics.  Immunotherapies use body’s immune system’s natural capacity to detect and destroy abnormal cells. Immmunotherapies have generated great deal of interest, specifically for treatment of cancers because these regimens present fewer side effects and have less potential for creating resistance when treating microbial diseases.

Image result for gene therapyGene therapies using genes to treat or prevent diseases, indicate promising though yet risky treatment options. What does the future hold for gene therapies, specially beyond rare diseases?  Bill Lundberg from CRISPR and Geoff Nichol from Biomarin will discuss outlook for gene therapies.  

PS: Here is link to my earlier blog on disease areas that will generate interest and renewed attention in some of the panels http://bit.ly/2pA45B7 . Registration is open for Biotech Showcase at conferences@ebdgroup.com or at https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/biotech-showcase/agenda/1

 

 

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Mission to do common good through better health – 2017 HTF Innovation conference – preview


Current discussions on repeal of Obamacare has brought much focus on issues of health and wellness in America and has energized the underserved communities.  The 6th Annual Health Technology Forum Innovation Conference taking place at Stanford University on May 1 and 2, 2017 will explore health and wellness through panels and speakers, with a central focus on technology and on implementation of key health policies.
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What kind of technology innovations may effectively address the unmet needs of the underserved and underrepresented markets?  Can next generation technology solutions provide better access and improve care outcomes? These and other issues will be discussed in outstanding panels. The Innovation Showcase will offer an exclusive networking opportunity to startups and investment community to develop strategic partnerships. The high visibility demo space in the expo corridor will allow startups an opportunity to highlight their offerings.

Every year, health technology forum conference offers phenomenal opportunity to bay area health strategists, providers, venture capitalists, startups, and professionals to come together with a mission to do “common good” through better health.  Please register for the conference at www.healthtechnologyforum.com .

 

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