Precision Medicine World Conference 2019 Takeaways

Hans PMWC2020 copy 1

We talk about technology a lot, but let’s remember why we’re here—to create precise solutions to meet patient needs.

William Dalton
during the AI fireside chat

The global BlueBee team joined for PMWC 2019 in Santa Clara, CA. Nearly 2,000 leaders across multiple domains—molecular and data scientists, bioinformaticians, IT experts, clinicians, patients and patient advocates, technology innovators, business consultants and industry luminaries joined from around the world to exchange on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed to make translational Science and medicine more precise.

Events kicked off with the awards ceremony on Sunday evening. Many pioneers were awarded this evening, including Dr. Carl June, the developer of CAR T therapy (CAR stands for, chimeric antigen receptor), the world’s first gene-based cancer therapy. Clinical trials of CAR T therapy began at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and in the time following, multiple advanced stage, chemotherapy-resistant patients have received the therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and remain in remission. Understanding how to harness the immune system to fight cancer, understanding the risks and how to mitigate, and how to apply immunotherapy to diverse cancer indications are ongoing in this groundbreaking field. We congratulate and thank the service of Dr. June and all teams and families involved.

Tal Behar welcomes PMWC attendees


Progress in precision medicine is dependent on data. From our data solutions perspective, here are a few of our takeaways:

  • Clinical workflows including next-generation sequencing data and other molecular data require cloud computing for scale, efficiency and industrialization of a standardized analytical pipeline.
  • Data security and data compliance are table stakes and critical to making precision medicine a safe venture for global patient communities.
  • For AI and other applications, cross-center validation is needed—validation by extrapolation will not serve anyone well in the longer term.
  • Across academia, pharma, biotech, computing, more—working together as an ecosystem is required to progress into the next era of more precise diagnoses, treatment, drug development, technologies.
  • Single-cell technologies are impacting clinical applications of multiple domains, including Oncology and the assessment of tumor clonality.
  • Blockchain applications of individual genome data ownership and community sourcing for genomics research is on the map and reaching into the public sphere.
  • Precision medicine is not just about us – microbial genetics and infectious disease are central to our understanding of the diversity within us, contributing to both disease and health states.
  • “Precision medicine” has extended and saved lives. How to achieve this at scale, with diverse populations, within complex healthcare and reimbursement systems, with security, and with the patient at the center are ongoing challenges to fuel the missions of all involved.

BlueBee at PMWC 2019

The BlueBee team demonstrated BlueBase from our booth—our knowledge management system that integrates with BlueBee data solutions to complete the cycle from individual genomic/other data analysis through big data aggregation, metadata integration and deep mining to learn from that data. BlueBee data solutions including BlueBase are relevant to multiple use cases by diagnostic assay manufacturers, clinical laboratories and health systems, and population genomics initiatives.

It was an honor for BlueBee’s CEO, Hans Cobben, to present during the Data Profiling series, Track 3, with many other fantastic technology providers—Agendia, Mission Bio, Shivom and more. The takeaway from Hans’ talk was, to achieve a learning data system for clinical application or to pair with a commercialized assay, consider the forest and the trees and ensure that your data solution is future-ready.

BlueBee was founded in 2012 in The Netherlands and Belgium (now with a regional office in the San Francisco Bay), and since then has grown a fit-for-purpose data solutions platform that is highly scalable and adaptable. BlueBee leads the industry in data solutions that adhere to the strictest data security and global data compliance, including GDPR, HIPAA, ISO 13485 medical device standard and more. Please drop us a line. We’d love to share more.