Ted Driscoll featured in Pharmalot, Op-Ed: Entering The Golden Age Of Big Data

February 20, 2013   source: the original post by Ed Silverman appeared in Pharmalot

Ted DriscollAs drug development and diagnostics increasingly converge, the advent of personalized medicine is increasing all the time. Of course, we are not quite there yet, but the advent of electronic medical records and the genome are inching us closer all the time. But this poses challenges, of course, and Ted Driscoll, who heads the digital healthcare team at Claremont Creek Ventures, enthuses over the possibilities

One of the interesting facts we live with today is that most of the diseases we confront are largely because of our success at lifespan extension and simultaneous increase in per capita food production. It’s a well-known fact that cancer incidence and cardiac disease both increase with age. Now we confront an epidemic of diabetes and obesity related diseases that are largely caused by overconsumption and insufficient activity. We are victims of our own success and our excess consumption.

Furthermore, the genome we all carry around evolved to work for us as Paleolithic cavemen. As cavemen, our genome evolved to cope with leopards, communicable diseases, infections, parasites, and simple starvation. But modern society has tamed most of those risks. Ironically, now our biggest health challenges are largely a byproduct of our success. And then there are the excesses we now consume. We have far more calories available to us in forms or combinations we have never evolved to handle. Our genome never evolved to benefit obese 70 year olds. Cavemen didn’t typically live past 40 and didn’t drink high-fructose corn syrup in Big Gulps.

Fortunately, modern technology is coming to the rescue – or catching up. Medicine is finally moving fully into the Information Age. Medical data is exploding and becoming increasingly digital. It is being aggregated and correlated in our Electronic Medical Records. All kinds of associations are waiting to be discovered in this mass of medical data we are suddenly aggregating…

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