Palantir hires former IBM Watson Health exec as its first US authorities chief medical officer

A pedestrian passes a banner displaying Palantir Technologies signage through the firm’s preliminary public providing (IPO) in entrance of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Sept. 30, 2020.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Palantir has employed its first U.S. authorities chief medical officer, a former government from IBM‘s Watson Health enterprise, as the info analytics firm doubles down on its life sciences enterprise.

While the corporate made its identify in software program utilized by authorities protection companies, gross sales to health-related companies within the federal authorities have doubled during the last yr.

The firm introduced Monday its has employed Dr. Bill Kassler to steer public well being and life sciences groups throughout Palantir’s home and world companies.

Kassler, previously deputy chief well being officer at IBM Watson Health, stated in an unique interview with CNBC that he would carry his experience in scientific care and public well being to the function, serving to to attach the software program to researchers who may gain advantage from it.

“Palantir is just an exciting group of young, talented engineers and data scientists and real, real intelligent, smart people,” he stated. “But in order to deploy technology, you have to understand the theory and the logic and the practice of health care and public health. And I think we see a lot of technology companies that want to get into health but don’t know that, make mistakes because they’re not intimately familiar. And what I can bring to Palantir is my expertise as a clinician, as a public health doc, as somebody who has been working in this field for years to help with the science and the strategy and the relationships.”

Investing in tech for the following pandemic

In his new function, Kassler stated, he desires to assist put Palantir’s expertise within the arms of researchers who can use it to make good selections within the subsequent pandemic.

He highlighted three areas he believes might be improved with the assistance of tech options like Palantir’s: patching provide chain points, coping with localized surges of instances, and tackling racial and ethnic disparities.

Palantir’s Foundry platform has performed a major function within the U.S. authorities’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in addition to non-public corporations’ dealing with of important provide chains. Palantir’s expertise permits researchers to mix and overlay information units in methods that may make provide chain weaknesses or outbreak sizzling spots extra apparent, permitting them to behave rapidly on their findings.

On the federal government facet, the National Institutes of Health has just lately begun utilizing Palantir’s platform to mix information units from 50 completely different educational teams that it funds in ways in which would have been cumbersome with out the software program.

Palantir’s expertise helps the teams share information in ways in which protects affected person identities however permits them to achieve extra insights by analyzing a a lot bigger information set than they might have entry to of their particular person group settings. Julie Bush, who leads Palantir’s federal health-care work, stated the info is now getting used to higher perceive how Covid has impacted folks with completely different backgrounds and circumstances.

Bush stated such broad data-sharing was much less frequent previous to the pandemic, however she hopes it continues after.

“People love to hoard their data,” she stated. “And the pandemic really forced people to come together and be willing to share information and sort of set the bureaucracy aside. And, of course subject to data use agreements and other things, what we really saw was incredible collaborations happening across the government.”

Kassler stated he desires to see the expertise used for extra on a regular basis use instances, too. One instance he gave is how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already used the expertise to assist slender the doable sources of an outbreak linked to provide. Rather than recalling produce from a big area, Palantir may help the company hint the availability chain and pinpoint a smaller goal.

“We don’t know what the next pandemic will be,” Kassler stated. “So we have to be prepared. And in order to do that, we have to have invested in the systems that are able to have that situational awareness and to be able to enable organizations to respond quickly.”

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