Verizon, Nantworks team to funnel cancer info to docs' smartphones

Verizon and health conglomerate Nantworks want to get "big data" down to individual end-users, specifically doctors. So they've teamed up to create a series of wireless health projects, including a new mobile-enabled Cancer Knowledge Action Network that the two companies announced this week.

The idea: Take the reams of genomics, health and other data held by Nantworks and create algorithms, formulas and other tools to parse that data down into action items for oncologists, Verizon's CMIO Peter Tippett tells FierceMobileHealthcare.

Specifics are a little thin yet, but Tippett did confirm that Nantworks will provide the data component, combining multiple databanks of cancer research, genetic testing information and more through a Verizon platform that allows physicians to access and analyze that data on their smartphones and tablets.

The ultimate goal is for that data to be synthesized through software that will help physicians identify best practices for certain cancer patients, such as determining the right types of therapy and medication regimens, according to the latest research, Tippett explains.

A later iteration will also allow physicians to communicate through the network, sharing experiences and consults. For example, if a patient is having a side effect to what is deemed the best therapy for his or her cancer, the physician can teleconference with another clinician who has experience managing that side effect, Tippett says.

Ultimately, the companies will expand the network to include data on other conditions.

Some of the development and testing may take place through Verizon and Nantworks' multiple university partnerships, Tippett noted. Verizon announced a major health initiative with Duke University last fall, and Nantworks has several connections with both universities and large cancer centers that may play into the program as well.

"Our goal is to turn this data into actionable information at the point of care, enabling better care through mobile devices in hospitals, clinics and homes," Nantworks CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong--who's well-known as an m-health angel investor--said in a statement this week.

To learn more:
- here's the Pharmabiz story
- read the eWeek piece