As shown in the graphics the ten big Tech companies are focussing their investment in the area of healthcare primarily on data analytics and genomics. Actually, these two areas are progressing hand in hand, with genomics leveraging on analytics to discover meaning.
One has to read in this perspective the announcement of Invitae of a new app, Invitae Discover, in partnership with Apple to analyse data gathered by Apple watch(es) comparing them to the genetic profile of the wearer to identify possibile correlation between cardio-vascular diseases and the genome (certain genes).
Invitae is a medical genetic company that is aggregating sequenced genomes data (getting close to a database of a million sequenced genomes) and it is working to understand the clinical implication of genes. This is done through data analytics on the genome data base and with this announcement Invitae points to include in their data set the data generated by the Apple watch. People having their sequenced genome in the Invitae data base can participate in the study by opting in to have the data gathered by their Apple watch (those who are wearing one, of course) becoming part of the study.Invitae
What is interesting is the possibility offered by data correlation to identify possible impact on health, in this case on the insurgence of cardiovascular pathologies as well as on their treatment, and the fact that this correlation can be made by data harvested by a consumer grade device (the Apple watch).
I see this as a first concrete example of what is called “social genomics“. A wearable, like a watch, is providing data on the behaviour of a person, beyond data on hearth beating and electrical activity. These data, once correlated with data from thousands of other people, can provide insights on the relation between genes and phenotype and its expression.
Invitae first study will be focusing on Atrial Fibrillation cause and personal data privacy will be protected under the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). It is a first step and I think it will mark the beginning of the shift towards the integration of genomics in every day healthcare.