Is Mr. Spock’s departure just a loss to Star Trek legacy or does it also mark a new era for healthcare?

hile the losses of Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock and DeForest Kelley as Dr. "Bones" mark milestones to the Star Trek legacy, Mr. Spock's loss may be a more significant mark for a new era of healthcare.

I grew up with the Star Trek series and Feb 27th marks a sad day losing Leonard Nimoy, who was a great actor, director and author. With so many mHealth references made to Star Trek's "Bones" McCoy tricoder, including the Smithsonian and the Tricorder XPRIZE challenge you may wonder why I think Mr. Spock is the real mark for the new healthcare era.

We all know that disruption in health care has been slow, and currently healthcare is siloed in a splintering of specialists as in Cardiology, splinteredby Interventional Radiology, which was further disrupted by Interventional Cardiology in the late '70s to 'balloon' by the 1990s.  Fifteen to twenty years to develop something new was considered rapid.

Now consider the medical research PhD roles in genomics and health economics, which have ballooned in the last decade as a result of electronic data sets, statistical tools and advancement in science.  Each field of study taking years to meticulously collect data and compile into information for their field of study.     

This is where Mr. Spock's access to information, that enabled him to quickly have an informed opinion across numerous topics, represents how Big Data will disrupt the role of research.  While the focus of health information technology has been to: empower patients to take greater responsibility, enable providers to have the right data at the point of care for higher quality, and streamline processes to deepen the pockets of the insurance companies, what has gone unmentioned is a conversation of how research and the PhD degree will be disrupted.

Big Data changes the paradigm of how we work with data to extract information and knowledge. Like the "Computer" on Star Trek, Big Data uses Machine Learning to detect patterns in data that we as humans would not see because of complexity or the rate of change.

Traditionally earning a PhD degree takes numerous years, because of time consuming processes to set up a study, collect and analyze the information, and finally publish.  The result of this arduous process is the hard earned PhD degree, which represents one's expertise in their field of study.

Mr. Spock is a symbol for how Big Data disrupts this process.  As he peered into his scope that held the "universal dataset", within moments he gave the history and scientific analysis of a planet and its inhabitants, calculations of the composition of the Thiolian Web, or the amount of atmospheric pollution and risk to the landing party.  This is what Big Data enables.  Half Alien and Half Human, Mr. Spock was not a PhD, MD nor Captain, he was a "Mr." 

Mr. Spock represents the commoditization of information and knowledge, which has historically been guarded by a PhD and MD degrees.  We are already seeing this disruption amongst health care specialist, with Health Information Technology placing greater responsibility with the Primary Care Provider.  Even in business, Forbes has remarked on the need for "The Rise of the Generalist".

ClearRoadmap™ is part of that disruption.  Using Natural Language Processing in context of medical device and mobile medical technology regulatory, clinical and reimbursement data, users have the ability to see across the market and deep into the specificity of a medical technology.  No longer is it limited to the experts in the field with previous knowledge, or require the investment of weeks to search and find the relevant information. Within seconds to minutes users can search and find information, and understand the resources and steps required to traverse through the regulatory and reimbursement processes, and become empowered to make informed decisions accelerate innovation in healthcare.

-- Vizma Carver, Founder and CEO, Carver Global Health Group