‘Breakthrough’ in Quantified Health Sets Stage for Innovation Summit

3/22/12Follow @bvbigelow

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Own Body, Stanford Geneticist Stops Diabetes in Its Tracks.”

As Snyder told Science magazine correspondent Jon Cohen, “The way we’re practicing medicine now seems woefully inadequate. When you go to the doctor’s office and they do a blood test, they typically measure no more than 20 things. With the technology out there now, we feel you should be able to measure thousands if not tens of thousands, if not ultimately millions of things. That would be a much clearer picture of what’s going on.”

Such is the potential of “quantified health.”

In a comment on his Google+ homepage, Smarr writes, “This paper in Cell will be looked back on as a watershed event.” He calls it “a vision of the future of personalized preventive medicine that Lee Hood has been describing for most of the last decade, but it is stunning to see a respected scientist actually carry it out, with clinically meaningful outcomes.”

As the director of CalIT2, Smarr understands the kind of computing power that will be required to quantify our health in such extraordinary detail. And as we have previously reported, Smarr has been tracking and quantifying his own health over the past decade with commercially available blood tests and a variety of health monitors and wireless sensors.

The session with Smarr, Topol, Reed, and Nashat represents just one part of a summit that is intended to showcase the researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors who have become “rock stars” in their fields. The all-day conference also includes keynote talks from Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs and Juan Enriquez of Excel Venture Management, a life sciences investor who is known for his expertise on the economic and political impacts of life sciences.

In a recent change, the agenda now includes a conversation between “the moguls behind MOGL”—Steve Tomlin of San Diego’s Avalon Ventures and Jon Carder, the founder and CEO of San Diego-based MOGL, which provides an online rewards program for restaurants and bars. In a similar way, Sapphire Energy co-founders Steve Briggs and CEO Jason Pyle are set to recount their respective experiences as innovator and investor in the formation of the San Diego biofuels developer.

Rounding out the agenda is a discussion of alternative investment models for tech startups that includes Jason Mendelson, a co-founder and managing director of the Boulder, CO-based Foundry Group; Scott Kupor, a partner and chief operating officer at Andreesen Horowitz; and Chuck McDermott, a general partner in the Boston office of RockPort Capital.

The Summit’s opening act is a VC jam session that is set for the previous evening—Wednesday, March 28—at the downtown San Diego Hard Rock Hotel. The show, which will be hosted by San Diego basketball legend and Greatful Dead fan Bill Walton, includes Rockport Capital’s McDermott and his Chuck McDermott Band; The Foundry Group’s Mendelson, and David Cremin of DFJ Frontier.

The hard rock networking event and jam session are included as part of the Rock Stars of Innovation Summit. Remember, more information and online registration is available here.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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