Episode Summary

Harry's guest Eric Daimler, a serial software entrepreneur and a former Presidential Innovation Fellow in the Obama Administration, has co-founded a company called Conexus that uses category theory to tackle the problem of data interoperability. Longtime listeners know that data interoperability in healthcare—or more often the lack of interoperability—is a repeating theme of the show. In fields from drug development to frontline medical care, we’ve got petabytes of data to work with, in the form of electronic medical records, genomic and proteomic data, and clinical trial data. That data could be the fuel for machine learning and other kinds of computation that could help us make develop drugs faster and make smarter decisions about care. The problem is, it’s all stored in different databases and formats that can’t be safely merged without a nightmarish amount of work. So when a company like Conexus says they have a way to use math to bring heterogeneous data together without compromising that data’s integrity – well, it's time to pay attention. That's why on today’s show, we’re all going back to school for an introductory class in category theory.


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