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2018 Pioneer Profiles: Introducing healthcare IT's 10Xers

Kicking off a new series looking at how the most productive innovators are positively disrupting the health industry.

aws Apr 10, 2018 03:53 pm
Introducing healthcare IT's 10Xers

We’re profiling some of the industry’s most productive innovators. Check back as new profiles are added!

Zeeshan Syed, Stanford Medicine‚Äč

John Quackenbush, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Eric Topol, The Scripps Research Institute

These are fascinating times in healthcare IT. Following a decade-long effort to ensure that every hospital and major physician clinic were using electronic health records, the industry is entering a new era of creativity and innovation.

There are dozens of events springing up that highlight exciting advances in Big Data, genomics, artificial intelligence, population health, precision medicine and machine learning. And news stories appear daily describing the latest mobile applications, chat-bots and robots, virtual reality and telemedicine breakthroughs that are extending care from the hospital directly to the patient’s home.

One way to make sense of this new era of innovation is to look at the people who are driving change. Who are the innovators developing and deploying predictive analytic tools to help deliver care more efficiently and driving better outcomes? Who are the architects and interface designers creating new ways of interacting with patients and helping them care for themselves?

Might it be possible to identify some of healthcare IT’s “10Xers” and see what might be learned from them?

Productive disruptors

If you’re unfamiliar with the 10Xer concept, the term originally referred to Silicon Valley engineers who were 10 times more productive than the average coder – their code was said to be far more efficient, run more quickly and contain fewer bugs than the typical software engineer. Silicon Valley 10Xers were, and still are, the rock stars of the coding world (they even have agents who negotiate their compensation).

Our “Healthcare IT 10Xer” series – our 2018 Pioneer Profiles – seeks to identify a half-dozen of healthcare’s own productive disruptors: the kind of people whose work defines cutting-edge solutions to significant problems, in both care provision as well as IT. It’s their attention to data, commitment to delivering high quality care while containing costs and their pragmatic implementation that brings their work to the forefront.

Some of the people we’ll be interviewing in our “Pioneer Profiles” will be familiar to readers. This month, for example, we’ve checked in with Eric Topol, MD, to learn how he’s advancing individualized medicine as part of the National Institutes of Health’s “All of Us” Precision Medicine Initiative. The goal is to gather vast amounts of biological, environmental and lifestyle data from 1 million Americans to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs, enabling individualized prevention, treatment and care.

Like Silicon Valley's 10Xer developers, our healthcare IT 10Xers aren’t just excelling at their work but they are redefining and reinventing what that work is. We’ve pushed the definition of healthcare IT to include how applications and devices can be better designed to engage patients in their healthcare. We’ve interviewed the lead investigator of a project that led to the development of a Watson-enabled eldercare robot. We’ve spoken to some of the best and brightest minds now working to reveal the secrets held within huge genomic data sets, or teaching computers to isolate and identify early markers of disease. What all these people and projects share in common is a reliance of Big Data. And Fast Data. And Meaningful Data. And even Small Data.

Scouring the trade media, talking to colleagues at conferences and checking in with social media influencers, we’ve identified the 2018 class of 10Xers and will be profiling them here over the coming months. Our questions have ranged from the nature of their work and research to their thoughts on the latest trends in healthcare and the life sciences. How did they come to work at the intersection of healthcare and technology in new, exciting and illuminating ways? Are there any characteristics or qualities that set them apart from their peers? We wanted to learn what’s exciting them in the current landscape, what they might imagine for the future and what quirks come along with pioneering new fronts of the industry.

We hope that these profiles inspire you to continue your own pioneering efforts to create the technology that enables our health delivery systems to learn, to grow and to provide the best possible care in the months and years to come.

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