Calif. Experts Highlight Importance of Behavioral Health, Big Data
California experts during a recent KQED panel emphasized the potential of behavioral health applications, but noted that government action often is required to motivate behavioral changes, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports.
The panel included:
- Malay Gandhi, managing director of Rock Health, a health startup accelerator firm in the Bay Area;
- Rachel Kalmar, a senior data scientist at San Francisco-based Misfit, a wearable device maker; and
- Jeffrey Olgin, chief of cardiology at UC-San Francisco and head of not-for-profit Health eHeart.
Comments on Government Investments in Behavioral Changes
During the panel discussion, Olgin said, "Massive government investments in new technologies and in advertisements, and also (levying) of taxes, lead to the biggest changes." For example, he attributed reduced smoking rates to government-run graphic ads.
Gandhi noted that even a small behavioral change can have big implications for community health.
Comments on Big Data
Meanwhile, Olgin also said that a lack of data could hold back research, adding, "It's not the tools that we lack in medicine and in heart disease. It's really the lack of big data."
Gandhi agreed that greater access to big data would improve health outcomes.
However, Olgin noted that such data should be interpreted by a health care professional (Fermoso, Silicon Valley Business Journal, 11/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.