Digital Health: Ingestible Sensors, AI, & Beyond

November’s program was held at the Nippon Club. To download the event summary, click here.

Digital health is currently a disruptive force in pharma, impacting everything from drug discovery and development to clinical trials, patient administration, health monitoring and more. While often associated with wearables or other physical monitoring devices that allow for data collection, another component of digital health that is drawing outsize attention for its potential to further disrupt the industry is artificial intelligence (AI). By leveraging computation and analysis of large quantities of data using  machine learning and advanced algorithms, companies using AI can find connections and insights that otherwise would have gone undetected. Long a staple of computer science research labs at universities, AI is starting to make its way into a variety of industries and can both replace and augment traditional methods of data analysis.

This program will feature presentations by four experts: Marcus Ehrhardt of PwC, who will give an overview of the digital forces impacting the industry; Tim Peters-Strickland of Otsuka, who will talk about Otsuka’s Digital Medicine Initiative using an ingestible digital sensor to monitor medication adherence and physiologic responses;  Bud Mishra of the Courant Institute, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and NYU School of Medicine,  who will talk about using AI for drug discovery, development and analytics; and Neel Madhukar, a computational biologist at Weill Cornell Medical College who developed BANDIT, a  tool that mines millions of data points from five clinical, genomic, chemical and structural data sets to shed light on the targets and actions of certain molecules.

All four speakers will discuss specific examples of how technology and digital health applications are transforming the pharmaceutical industry and opportunities for growth within this space.

**Click Speaker Name for Bio

Marcus Ehrhardt, PhD, Principal, PwC's Strategy&

Dr. Marcus Ehrhardt

As a Principal with Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business, and with PwC US, Dr. Marcus Ehrhardt is a member of the Operations practice and is aligned with the global health/life science team.  His focus is on operations strategy in the pharmaceutical industry.  He is a specialist in Strategy Based Transformation, Performance Improvement Programs and Supply Chain Management,  with more than 12 years of consulting experience.

Prior to joining Strategy&, Marcus worked at General Motors both in Europe and the US.   He also worked at the Department of Economics at Frankfurt University on an international research project on Technology & Innovation Management.   He was a lecturer of economics at the Business School of Finance & Management in Frankfurt/Main and has authored a book and several articles on operations and competitive strategy, life science industry trends, technology innovation and supply chain management.

Tim Peters-Strickland, MD, Senior Director, Global Clinical Management, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals

Timothy Peters-Strickland, M.D.  joined Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Development & Commercialization in April 2012, and now works as a Senior Director in Global Clinical Development, CNS. He serves as Medical/Project Lead on various CNS projects, including Abilify Maintena and Digital Medicine.  Timothy joined Otsuka from Covance, where he was Medical Director, Global Clinical Practice for 3.5 years.  He has also published a book, Basic Psychopharmacology for Counselors and Psychotherapists, along with Richard Sinacola, Ph.D.  Earlier in his career, Timothy worked in private psychiatric practice and community mental health settings, and has been a volunteer faculty member at University of Southern California (USC) Department of Psychiatry.   Timothy completed his Psychiatry Residency training at USC, where he served as Chief Resident.  He earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Florida in Gainesville and his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Bud Mishra, PhD, Professor of Computer Science at Courant Institute, Professor of Biology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and NYU School of Medicine
Click to View Talk Abstract: “(Cancer) Genomics via (Sub)Optical Mapping


Cancer is a Wicked Problem. Like all wicked problems, it appears difficult (or impossible) to solve for as many as four reasons: (1) incomplete or contradictory knowledge – cancer has been thought to be a viral disease, disease of the genome, of protein degradation, of signaling, of metabolites, etc.; (2) the number of people and opinions involved – vast number of oncologists, cancer biologists, oncogenomicists producing more publications (or projects, moonshots, startups, megafunds, wars) than they read (or pitch, fight and/or die for); (3) the large economic burden – involving economically risky enterprises within a structure of a lemon market, and (4) the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems that are equally wicked, namely lack of a biotechnology to produce high quality (genomics) data and lack of a data science (or AI or machine learning) to infer causal structures that is (translationally) relevant. We explore here three important new publications covering (i) Suppes’ Probabilistic Causation and its connection to diagnosis and therapeutics (PNAS), (ii) Mapping and Sequencing technologies with high sensitivity and low cost (Nature) and (iii) Financial Engineering using systems biology to lower risks (Oncotargets).

Bud Mishra, Courant Institute, NYU, Mt Sinai.Dr. Mishra is a professor of computer science and mathematics at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, professor of computer science and engineering at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, professor of human genetics at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and a professor of cell biology at NYU School of Medicine. Prof. Mishra has a degree in Physics from Utkal University, in Electronics and Communication Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur, and MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie-Mellon University. He has industrial experience in Computer and Data Science (brainiad, Genesis Media, Pypestream, Tartan Laboratories, and ATTAP), Finance (Instadat, Tudor Investment and PRF, LLC), Robotics and Bio- and Nanotechnologies (Bioarrays, InSilico, Seqster, Abraxis, MRTech, and OpGen). He is the author of a textbook on algorithmic algebra and more than two hundred archived publications. He has advised and mentored more than 35 graduate students and post-docs in the areas of computer science, robotics and control engineering, applied mathematics, finance, biology and medicine. He is a fellow of IEEE, ACM and AAAS, a Distinguished Alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur, and a NYSTAR Distinguished Professor. From 2003-2006, he held adjunct professorship at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India. From 2001-04, he was a professor at the Watson School of Biological Sciences, Cold Spring Harbor Lab.

Neel Madhukar, Computational Biologist, Weill Cornell Medical College

Mr. Madhukar works in the lab of Dr. Olivier Elemento, where he uses Big Data analytics and machine learning to help answer questions about cancer systems biology and how we can improve precision patient care and drug development.

During his PhD he helped develop two computational methods to help accelerate the drug development and discovery process. His novel drug target prediction method, “BANDIT” – a Bayesian Approach to find Novel Drug Interaction Targets – mines millions of data points from five clinical, genomic, chemical and structural datasets to shed light on the targets and mechanisms of novel molecules. He also helped develop “PrOCTOR,” a newly published method that integrates a variety of different features on a drug’s structure and targets to predict side effects and clinical trial toxicities.

He co-founded OneThree Biotech to bring these technologies into the pharmaceutical research pipeline and was named as one of Forbes “30 under 30” in healthcare, based on this research.