For those who have been following the blog, you know that I recently spoke at the SXSW conference in Austin (more details here including why pharma companies should care). My talk was entitled: Your Computer Is the Next Wonder Drug.
The idea is simple and here’s how I described the talk on the SXSW site:
A few times each year, the press buzzes about the latest scientific advance that will someday cure any one of the diseases we fear the most. Nearly every one of these will turn out to be nothing more than a news story and far from a pill that can help improve our health.
We spend hundreds of millions of dollars every day on research, as we struggle to find the “magic bullet” that will rid the world of conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. We almost never find the magic.
While the big, historic scientific advances may be what dominate the headlines, in the end, it’s the small improvements and better utilization of the technology we have already have that will ultimately lengthen ourlives and improve its quality. These technologies don’t come from labs filled with test tubes or cell cultures, but rather from labs filled with computers and the programs that run them.
In the future, it will be digital technologies that prevent, treat, and finally cure diseases and not the latest “blockbuster” drug that has yet to be discovered (and might never be). Digital technologies can already help us understand which treatments are best for us, what diseases pose the greatest risk, and how diseases spread among us. They can improve our interactions with doctors and improve access to care for everyone.
Instead of waiting for the next miracle drug to be developed, you might find the miracle was there all along right inside the computer you use every day.
You’ll be hearing and seeing more about this topic on Dose of Digital in the future. It’s going to be the focus of a book I’m working on that I hope you’ll get to see sometime in the not terribly distant future (but think in terms of years, not months).
I was pleased with the way the talk went, but I wish more of you could have been there to hear it. Fortunately, I have a solution. Through the power of video, you can see what you missed right here. I’ll embed the video at the end of this post, but I recommend you click through to watch the HD version, in full screen mode, as you’ll be able to see more of the slide details.
By the way, if you work for a pharma company and are wondering why you should care about this, here’s the short answer:
In the future, digital technologies, and not blockbuster drugs, will prevent, treat, and cure the diseases that kill us.
That means that the smart pharma companies should start looking at the way IBM evolved from a company that sells computers to one that sells services. Question is: can any pharma companies make this leap? I’ll be talking a lot more about this in the future, so stay tuned.
On with the video…here’s a direct link to the HD version. If the video below isn’t working on your device, then follow the direct link. It’ll work on any device including iPhones and iPads. Advance warning, the video is 50 minutes, so set some time aside. I think it’ll be worth it.
Special thanks to my creative team of Scott Hoverman, Colleen Reed, and John Cobb (who did the illustrations) for making me look good by designing the presentation that didn’t look quite as nice in the draft version I created.
I’m still looking for more examples of the types of technologies you will see in the presentation for future talks and blog posts (and for the book). If you know of one or you company makes one, then I want to hear about it. Use the contact form to get in touch with me.