Big data isn't the cure, but it's vital.
Because my childhood baseball team won the World Series last night, and because I managed to fly home from San Diego in time to watch the jubilant end with my family, I’m going to devote this morning’s essay to an upbeat-only review of the just concluded Brainstorm Health conference.
Sure, there’s plenty about the sorry state of health care that one could gripe about.
But why be negative when instead you can consider the attitude-changing and cancer-doctor-wrangling efforts of billionaire philanthropist Sean Parker? And yes, big data is no panacea for curing cancer. But instead let’s celebrate the work of Greg Simon, executive director of the White House’s cancer “moonshot” task force, who is helping to foster a culture of information sharing among researchers. Or consider the pioneering work of University of Utah radiologist and health system CEO Vivian Lee, who got an MBA and returned to medicine with a focus on cost accounting, of all things. Lee’s epiphany: Simply nudging doctors to understand the costs of the procedures, devices, and tests they order unleashes their competitive juices to be more economical in how they practice medicine.
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The really positive news here is that Fortune has once again worked its “live” media magic by starting a conference that brought together a unique blend of healthcare practitioners, administrators, and policymakers to discuss real solutions to improving what is arguably the most important industry in the land. All the coverage, including videos from many of the panels and interviews, is available here. My colleagues and I already can’t wait until next year for this conference to happen again.
Speaking of waiting ‘til next year, or in this case, not having to wait, did I mention the Chicago Cubs won the World Series?
Have a winning day.