Data and the Health Singularity
By Amber Hartley
Last summer, my neighbor casually asked me if I wanted to join her in a relay race. Not just any relay race – one of those crazy, all-nighter, high elevation, lots of hills runs. Where you run. With your feet.
Now, I am not a runner. But I swam and played water polo competitively for my entire childhood, and despite now being (a few years) older and spending more time in the kiddie pool than the lap pool, there’s a part of me that still thinks I’m an athlete. So obviously, I said yes. I went home and whipped out the fitness app on my phone that I haven’t used in forever, and told it that I wanted to be able to run 13 miles by next summer.
It told me to aim for something more realistic.
WHAT?! Clearly, this stupid app doesn’t know me at all.
Here’s the thing: most apps don’t know us at all. All they know is what we put into them. When you go to your doctor, their EMR doesn’t know much about you either. Sure, it knows your medical history, but it doesn’t know that you had a root canal last week, or that you forgot to pick up the meds your doctor prescribed, or that you eat too much bacon.
But what if it did? What if our care team knew enough about us that they could tailor their care to our exact, individual needs? What if my fitness app knew me well enough that it could predict the chances that I’d be able to reach my goal?
That’s the Health Singularity. It’s the idea that health and healthcare will soon be personalized down to the individual level – tailored to each person’s exact needs based on their individual medical history, family background, genomic or proteomic profile, lifestyle, eating habits, etc.
But in order to make the Health Singularity a reality, two things need to come together. First, the healthcare system, and all the tools we use to live our life, need to know enough about us to create a complete picture of who we are – a LifeGraphTM. The more data is included in each person’s LifeGraph, the more personalized care can be. Second, there need to be LifeGraphs for tens of thousands, or even millions of other people, so the system can find hidden trends and build predictive models. The more people are in the system, the more accurate the predictions will be, and the more personalized care can become for each person.
BurstIQ has built a platform to enable the Health Singularity. A platform where health data can be securely brought together from thousands of different sources and used to make healthcare smarter and more personalized.
Most importantly, BurstIQ has built a platform that puts you, the individual, in charge of your data. You should be able to see all your health data in one place. You should be able to understand it. You should decide who else sees it and what they can use it for. If you want to share your data with that fitness app, go for it. If you want to share your data with researchers working on a cure for cancer, go for it. If you want to keep your data completely private, go for it.
For companies, the BurstIQ platform allows you to access and use data that has never before been available, and use that data to drive your business. Rather than pursuing hundreds of 1-to-1 data integrations, you can incorporate multiple disparate data sets through a single API and have the confidence that the data is secure and appropriately permissioned to your company. Use it to build smarter products, to develop deep learning tools, to discover new cures, to find new customers, or to make better clinical decisions.
Health data will soon drive partnerships, enable new innovations, empower providers and influence individuals’ actions. We believe that data will essentially become the currency that drives the healthcare industry. BurstIQ will be the marketplace.
And maybe my fitness app will finally get to know me.