Internet of Things just the beginning of disruptive healthcare innovation

By John DeGaspari

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The proliferation of Internet-connected devices is changing healthcare delivery, said panelists at last week's 2015 BIO International Convention in Philadelphia. And there's much more disruptive tech in the industry's future. 

Brandon Staglin, director of marketing communications at the One Mind Institute, discussed the role of digital therapeutics in the treatment of neurological disorders, according to an article in Bioscience Technology.

Staglin, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1990, spoke of the healing potential of wearable sensors, saying they could help monitor his thoughts, set schedules and help with medication adherence.

Jack Hidary, chairman of Samba Energy and a board member of Google X and the Palo Alto Prize Foundation, spoke about "moonshot" technologies that were once thought of as a joke--such as self-driving cars--but are now mainstream.

Hidary went on to talk about combining computational immunotherapy and genomics to create a replacement for traditional methods of treating cancer. In his view, this data-driven approach will require better modeling of the immune system to find new breakthroughs.

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As the cost of genomic analysis drops, he added, more companies can conduct larger genomic analyses of patient populations, leading to further breakthroughs.

That's already happening, of course. The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard recently announced that they are teaming up with Google Genomics to explore how to break down major technical barriers that increasingly hinder biomedical research. They'll work to anser the call for computing infrastructure to store and process enormous datasets and create tools to analyze such data as they aim to unravel long-standing mysteries about human health.

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