CENTER FOR NEUROTECHNOLOGY STUDIES
AT POTOMAC INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES
“From Data to Knowledge in Neuroscience:
Building Toward Individualized Medicine”
On September 12, 2016, the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies hosted a seminar to address the role that the current explosion of neuroscience data and technology advances will play in the future of medicine. The seminar featured experts in neuroscience, medicine, and health policy, including Dr. Stacy Suskauer, a researcher and Co-Director of the Center for Brain Injury Recovery at the Kennedy Krieger Institute; Dr. Mahesh Shenai, a neurosurgeon and Medical Director of Functional and Restorative Surgery at the Inova Neuroscience and Spine Institute; and Dr. Jessica Eisner, a Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute and a former Senior Medical Officer at the FDA.
With expertise spanning research, clinical care, and government regulation, the speakers discussed the vision of how healthcare could be transformed with integration of big data and cutting-edge devices, as well as the challenges standing in the way of that future. Rapid technology advancement, with the ability to collect abundant data through genome sequencing, neuroimaging, and wearable or implantable devices, makes possible a world in which physicians can use personalized patient data to make specific diagnoses, predict the outcomes of potential treatments, follow up on patient status in real time, and even predict the development of a neurological condition before symptoms appear. However, realizing this vision will require a true paradigm shift: developing the tools and incentives to integrate multi-modal data into usable knowledge ecosystems, updating regulatory policies that have not kept pace with technological change, creating policy strategies to enable high-risk innovations in healthcare and technology, and balancing data-driven individualized care with the quest to build better models of neurological and biological systems that can inform medicine for all people.