Obama Is Using The Bully Pulpit To Set Patient Data Free - Forbes
"There’s something wondrous, or at least mildly cool, happening today in Washington. No, I’m not kidding. There’s a meeting at the White House around President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, and, as a result, we’re hearing about a whole host of initiatives to make anonymized patient data available to researchers, and to pool information that’s come from different studies. That’s something that really could speed up medical research. 'It’s more than collecting large amounts of data from people and following them,' says Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. 'The other theme is to really push the open data world, to give people back their data, to share data. That’s really being pushed hard. This initiative is really an initiative for that' ... But Obama has earmarked the whole project for just $215 million in his 2016 budget. That’s nothing. Not compared to the $31 billion budgeted for the NIH as a whole, or the more than $50 billion pharmaceutical companies spend annually on R&D. Yet today IBM IBM +0.03% and the New York Genome Center announced that they are going to use IBM’s artificial intelligence program Watson to analyze the DNA of 200 cancer patients–and, more importantly, that this genetic database will be 'open' ..."