Sage Congress: The synthesis of open source with genetics

Complex health problems are too big for a single team.

For several years, O’Reilly Radar has been covering the exciting
potential that open source software, open data, and a general attitude of sharing and cooperation bring to health care. Along with many exemplary open source projects in areas directly affecting the public — such as the VA’s Blue Button in electronic medical records and the Direct project in data
exchange — the study of disease is undergoing a paradigm shift.

Sage Bionetworks stands at the center of a wide range of academic researchers, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and health providers realizing that the old closed system of tiny teams who race each other to a cure has got to change. Today’s complex health problems, such as Alzheimer’s,
AIDS, and cancer, are too big for a single team. And these institutions are slowly wrenching themselves out of the habit of data hoarding and finding ways to work together.

A couple weeks ago I talked to the founder of Sage Bionetworks,
Stephen Friend, about recent advances in open source in this area, and the projects to be highlighted at the upcoming Sage Commons congress. Steve is careful to call this a “congress” instead of a “conference” because all attendees are supposed to pitch in and contribute to the meme pool. I covered Sage Congress in a series of articles last year. The following podcast ranges over topics such as:

  • what is Sage Bionetworks [Discussed at the 00:25 mark];
  • the commitment of participants to open source software [Discussed at the 01:01 mark];
  • how open source can support a business model in drug development [Discussed at the 01:40 mark];
  • a look at the upcoming congress [Discussed at the 03:47 mark];
  • citizen-led contributions or network science [Discussed at the 06:12 mark];
  • data sharing philosophy [Discussed at the 09:01 mark];
  • when projects are shared with other institutions [Discussed at the 12:43 mark];
  • how to democratize medicine [Discussed at the 17:10 mark];
  • a portable legal consent approach where the patient controls his or her own data [Discussed at the 20:07 mark];
  • solving the problem of non-sharing in the industry [Discussed at the 22:15 mark]; and
  • key speakers at the congress [Discussed at the 26:35 mark].

Sessions from the congress will be
broadcast live via webcast and posted on the Internet.

OSCON 2012— Join the world’s open source pioneers, builders, and innovators July 16-20 in Portland, Oregon. Learn about open development, challenge your assumptions, and fire up your brain.Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20

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