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Latest Podcast Features NCI Leaders Sharing How Data and Tech Shape the Future of Cancer Research

Technology and collaboration are key to improving research and patient care. NCI leaders made this clear in a recent “healthcast,” hosted by GovernmentCIO Media & Research. In the latest episode, titled “Tech’s Role in Fighting Cancer,” NCI CBIIT Director Dr. Tony Kerlavage, NCI Chief Information Officer Jeff Shilling, and NCI Director of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Development Center Michael Weingarten highlighted the strides made by NCI thanks to innovative technologies and data sharing.

Some of the critical takeaways are as follows:

  • Progression from a 1970s paper-based system to a modern-day cloud-based format (which integrates data from various sources) has enabled researchers to collaborate easier and provide better care for patients.
  • Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology has shifted the focus of cancer research from hypothesis-driven to Big Science.
  • Thanks to the amount of genetic information derived from NGS, The Cancer Genome Atlas Program has identified the need for cloud technology that makes data broadly available.
  • Population-level data sets from other health agencies allow NCI to analyze cancer trends across communities. Such research can then influence treatment outcomes and enable health agencies to identify health disparities in underserved communities (and provide care).
  • NCI has worked with industry partners to process medical records using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which can read health information more quickly and efficiently.
  • Long-term data tracking and accessibility to a variety of data sources are imperative for cancer detection, prevention, and treatment. Innovative tools, such as wearable devices, are becoming increasingly popular and serve as prime examples of biometric data sources for expanding the data collection pool.
  • NCI’s SBIR Development Center is one such example of a group whose funding has allowed cancer researchers and bioinformaticists to develop NGS tools and groundbreaking AI technologies.

If you enjoyed this recap, listen to the full healthcast today!