Who: Dr. Atul Butte, 45
New role: Director of the University of California at San Francisco's new Institute for Computational Health Sciences. He will also be executive director of clinical informatics for UC Health Sciences and Services, where he'll help build a data warehouse and analytics platform. He'll join UCSF in April after leaving Stanford University, where he is chief of the school's systems medicine division and an associate professor of pediatrics.
Obama's focus on 'precision medicine': “I'm absolutely thrilled that this is a national priority right now,” Butte said, noting that UCSF is a major player in the field, focused on using big data to improve care. “That's a huge reason for why I'm moving. You can see what's kind of been bubbling behind the scenes here for years.”
Building the program: “Recruiting talent is going to be tough, at every level from senior to junior. There are not many trained data scientists right now, especially good data scientists who have an idea of how software is built, some statistical background and some healthcare domain expertise.”
Using data to improve care: “We have five hospitals that aren't competing. What if we can pool all of the data to learn from the ones that are doing it right? The experiment of the future could be, in a data-driven way, learning what three hospitals are doing better to teach the two hospitals that aren't.”