White House Highlights Public-Private Partnerships for Healthcare
Over a year and a half after the Obama Administration announced a $200 million investment in big data projects geared toward healthcare, energy and the environment, the White House has returned with an update that includes new partnerships in data science.
At the “Data Knowledge to Action” event, representatives of government agencies, technology companies, universities and nonprofits assembled to share their advances in ongoing analytics projects.
As Farnam Jahanian, assistant director for computer and information science and engineering at the National Science Foundation put it, this effort is essential in its promotion of a “deeper understanding of causal relationships based on advanced data analysis,” citing the positive effects that the program can have on expanding expanding the workforce and advancing research and development efforts.
Pointing to the diverse array of partners present at the event, Thomas Kalil, deputy director for technology and innovation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, explained, “The challenges are too big for government to solve alone.”
Although the projects’ focuses varied from education to machine learning, healthcare and life sciences research stood out among the collection of efforts. First among them was the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s CancerLinQ, a five-year $80 million initiative bent on analyzing anonymous patient data to guide cancer treatment plans.
The CancerLinQ prototype includes over 170,000 records of breast cancer patients across the United States. As the system continues undergo changes, its expected to support real-time clinical decision making and create a continuous cycle of learning based on patient experiences.
Supporting the effort are life sciences players including Amgen, Genentech BioOncology and several nonprofit organizations.
On a similar vein, pharmaceutical players Eli Lilly & Co., Novartis and Pfizer are joining forces to improve the Clinicaltrials.gov website to better recruit patients interested in clinical trials and better match them to appropriate programs.
In addition, federal health agencies are offering up five years’ worth of datasets to a cloud-based research effort hosted by the U.K.-based BT and powered by Washington-based MedRed software as a part of an international effort to unify information learned throughout the research community.