Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of Stanford’s School of Medicine, opened the school’s annual Big Data in Biomedicine conference today with a call for researchers and clinicians to recognize opportunities to prevent disease in entire populations. The two-day meeting focuses on using big data to promote precision health.
“Predict, prevent and cure precisely,” Minor said. “This is the opportunity of precision health.”
“For years, health care really has been about sick care,” he continued. “It’s been about treating severe, acute diseases or their chronic manifestations. And there’s been comparatively little attention either in research or care delivery on prediction and prevention. But that’s all changing today, because of the work being done in this room, because of the work being done at Stanford.”
Minor later called attention to the recent decline in life expectancy in the United States — the first decline in two decades, he said — and to the country’s expenditure of nearly 18 percent of gross domestic product on health care.
“Precision health offers the tools, the approaches and the opportunities to make a big dent both in the value equation — achieving better outcomes for lower cost — and ultimately creating and enabling a much more healthy population,” Minor said.
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD, also spoke, offering thanks to the members of the audience for the work they do “to advance the cause of precision health and medicine.”
Citing the enormous need of patients around the world dealing with pain and suffering, he said, “I’m here to exhort you, as hard as you are working on these problems, to double down again.”
“Our charge, our responsibility is to make sure we get to precision health tomorrow and not 10 years or 20 years from now,” Tessier-Lavigne said. “We know it will be a reality eventually. Our job is to make sure we accelerate the development and of precision health.”
“The future is even brighter and more exciting because of the work we’re going to be doing together,” said Minor.
Previously: Big Data in Biomedicine Conference kicks off on Wednesday, Precision health aims to reach everyone, Dean Lloyd Minor writes, Finding the heart of precision health and Stanford Medicine conference provided a big look at big data
Photo by Rod Searcey