Will The World's Richest Doctor Fix Healthcare?


Patrick Soon-Shiong has big plans for medicine. Described as the “richest doctor in the history of the world” by Forbes, Soon-Shiong wants to use Big Data to create more accurate, efficient, and cost-effective healthcare.

Soon-Shiong’s project (known as Nant) will create a system that collects many sorts of data from blood pressure to the proteins found in their blood, in addition to a complete genomic analysis.  As soon as a patient is admitted their data can be automatically uploaded to a Cloud based server. The system will subsequently analyze the health statistics it receives to determine possible diseases the patient may have, drugs that could be useful, and the cost-effectiveness of any treatment. Hospitals would also be able to use this system to monitor patients while they are home. With this technology, doctors would be able to make the most knowledgeable decisions for patient treatment.

According to the Forbes article, “As with everything in Big Data, what Nant brings is scale. Where Foundation Medicine tests patients’ tumors for mutations in 343 genes, Soon-Shiong plans to do 260 times more: sequencing the whole genome of the patient…Even with the use of DNA sequencers, this will cost $3,000 per patient just for sequencing, and it will take three days, plus another day for analysis. Providence expects to pay for this in part by getting insurers to pay for it.”

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