Now that healthcare has been overhauled, it’s time to give medical care a major reboot, according to Los Angeles’s wealthiest man. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a physician-entrepreneur and chairman of the California company NantHealth, unveiled a pilot program that he says will do just that, transforming the way medicine is practiced and medical care is delivered across the nation.
Among the collaborative effort’s key goals: to make deadly cancers a condition that patients can survive and manage for years after diagnosis.
Soon-Shiong on Wednesday outlined his testbed for a new model of medical care: a system that lashes together genomic processing, supercomputing, high-speed data networks and the same mobile devices that people use to make dinner reservations. All of this technology will put the best information available in the hands of doctors instantly, he said at a Washington, D.C., conference put on by the Bipartisan Policy Center and a nonprofit called Doctors Helping Doctors.
Working with Blue Shield of California, Verizon and AT&T, NantHealth has devised a system of secure, cloud-based information-sharing that promises to put genomic analyses of patients’ cancers in their physician’s hands in 47 seconds, Soon-Shiong said. While such gene screens have become ever cheaper and more widely available, they’re not yet fast: In some cases, they can take eight weeks to perform and transmit. That’s a potentially costly delay to cancer patients whose treatments rely on them, Soon-Shiong said.
Almost $500 million has so far been invested in the effort, which has been roughly seven years in the making, he said.
Blue Shield of California will implement the pilot program with Saint John’s Health Center, a 270-bed hospital in Santa Monica, which will build a $3-million “continuous learning center.” (Soon-Shiong’s foundation has donated $135 million to the hospital.) The insurer’s aim is to extend the program across the state, where it has some 3.3 million customers.
Soon-Shiong is a former UCLA surgeon and pharmaceutical company executive who chairs the Institute for Advanced Health and the Healthcare Transformation Institute. Forbes estimates his net worth at $7.3 billion.
The new project is designed to remedy a mismatch between technology and medical science…
Read more: Melissa Healy, LA Times