Dr Naveen Rao, Senior Vice President of Health at The Rockefeller Foundation, argues that using data to improve health is a moral imperative and we must all ensure that the benefits of new technologies are used to build a healthier, more prosperous future for everyone.
“It is crucial to ask this question: how much more could be achieved if the latest technologies were also used to lift up the poorest and most vulnerable?”
These days, it seems that you can’t turn on the nightly news or check social media without hearing how advances in data science are improving human health.
To take just a few recent examples, Apple is adding new health features to its smartwatch, allowing users to track their heart rhythms and menstrual cycles. Google and a leading hospital are joining forces to leverage artificial intelligence to improve medical research. Microsoft said it will work with a pharmaceutical company to apply machine learning to accelerate new drug development.
In total, by the end of 2019, investors poured billions of dollars into the digital health sector.
If data science is the next big thing in health, it is crucial to ask this question: how much more could be achieved if the latest technologies were also used to lift up the poorest and most vulnerable? While data innovations may be revolutionising healthcare for people who can afford to pay, they are not yet benefitting everyone, including many across the Commonwealth…
Dr A. Naveen Rao
Senior Vice President of Health, The Rockefeller Foundation