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Sino-U.S. Symposium brings researchers to Stanford to discuss precision health, big data

Last week, more than 300 health researchers from China and the United States converged at Stanford for the ninth Sino-U.S. Symposium on Medicine in the 21st Century. At this two-day event, health experts, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, including Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, and Jerry Yang, the Taiwanese-born co-founder of Yahoo, shared their knowledge of genomics, medical apps, and other topics related to this year's theme: Big data in health care.

Minor kicked the symposium off saying, "We have the opportunity to harness the power of genomic data and electronic medical records, and to deliver better care, more personalized care for acute illness and, perhaps even more importantly, to predict and prevent disease before it even occurs -- thereby moving the focus of medicine from sick care firmly toward health care."

My colleague describes highlights from the event, including a discussion of how mobile devices can play a larger role in health care, in an online news story:

In China, clinics are so crowded that people line up in the morning to get a lottery number to be seen, [Alan Yeung, MD, professor of cardiovascular medicine] said. Yet, 1.3 billion people there own a smartphone that can potentially help monitor health. Globally, he said, 4.8 billion people own a cellphone.

"We could score someone's risk of a heart attack and, depending on their risk factors, give them medications that would lower their risk," said Yeung. "The idea at the end of the day is instead of one patient coming to a clinic, health-care providers come to a small clean room to monitor tens of thousands of patients and see who is in trouble."

Cloud computing that was monitoring people's heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure and glucose levels, for example, could light up when heart attack risk factors started to shoot up for a particular person. "We could schedule a quick call and find out what's up," said Yeung, "and then change whatever the problem is before they become entrenched in their habits."

Previously: A conversation on the promises and challenges of precision healthHow Stanford Medicine will "develop, define and lead the field of precision health"At Big Data in Biomedicine, Stanford's Lloyd Minor focuses on precision health and A look at the MyHeart Counts app and the potential of mobile technologies to improve human health
Photo of event panelists by Norbert von der Groeben

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