Engaging Precision Medicine event hosted by HBA Mainline Montco

HBA Mainline Montco hosted a very engaging event on ‘Precision Medicine: Lessons Learned from a Successful Partnership’ that was sponsored by Microsoft on 14 May. Many folks attended the event, feedback from attendees was that it was a very informative event that provided good insights into Precision Medicine.  

Victoria Tamarkin, president HBA Mainline Montco kicked off the event by introducing the mission of the HBA which includes achieving gender parity in leadership positions and enabling organizations to realize the full potential of their female talent.. 

April Walker, director of Philadelphia Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) described how Microsoft is enabling digital transformations through a 3-pronged approach of People, Process and Place.

Andrea McGonigle, managing director, Microsoft Health & Life Sciences then provided a very informative session on the Precision Medicine Partnerships that Microsoft is forging with institutions and outlined the case study of the recent Johns Hopkins partnership. The mission of Microsoft’s Health & Life Sciences industry is to focus on three areas: 

  1. Improve operational outcomes by helping the health industry shift to the cloud
  2. Empower care teams on the front lines of healthcare
  3. Enable personalized care by developing the foundations of precision medicine  

Andrea showed a short video to explain Artificial Intelligence (AI).  Scientists and physicians at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore are gathering vast amounts of data from multiple sources (clinical care, genomics, wearable devices) with the intent to develop personalized medicine. The team is analyzing big data for treatments in prostrate cancer, multiple sclerosis, pancreatic cancer, ALS and other disease areas with the goal of improving the diagnosis and finding targeted treatments. 

Microsoft partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine to provide the underlying data platform and technical expertise with AI that enabled the team at Johns Hopkins to leverage their vast amounts of data to identify precision medicine options. Andrea shared the lessons learned from this partnership – important to form coalitions and non-traditional partnerships, no one can do it alone, be lean and flexible regardless of size, have an innovative mindset, fail fast and exercise a growth mindset.

Ben Olson, Microsoft Azure data & AI, technology services professional, provided an overview of using advanced analytics and AI on the Azure platform.

The final part of the event was a very engaging panel discussion with Andrea McGonigle, Ben Olson and Rich Ross from Microsoft that was moderated by Victoria Tamarkin. There was great engagement from the audience with several pertinent questions raised as folks were keen to learn and understand more. 

The panel discussion wrapped up a very informative and educational session on Precision Medicine.