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Sorcero Podcast Series: Novartis BIOME Co-Founder & Global Head on Digital Health and Technology
Christina Cullen
Aug 9, 2022

Sorcero Podcast Series: Novartis Biome Co-Founder & Global Head

The fourth episode in the Sorcero miniseries on building great AI-powered life sciences products, a Mighty Capital podcast, is here.

In this Sorcero miniseries, join host Sorcero CEO and Co-founder Dipanwita Das as she sits down with industry experts and business leaders to discuss how to build great AI-powered products for Life Sciences.

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Sorcero Podcast Series Episode 4: Novartis Biome Co-Founder & Global Head on Digital Health and Technology

In the fourth conversation in this series, Sorcero CEO Dipwanita Das speaks with Dr. Jacob LaPorte, Co-Founder & Global Head of the Novartis Biome.

Dr. Jacob LaPorte is the Co-Founder & Global Head of the BIOME by Novartis. He is an Ex-Harvard chemist and Ex-McKinsey consultant who is passionate about leading digital transformations to improve healthcare for patients. LaPorte founded and leads The BIOME by Novartis, the company’s first-ever, externally-branded innovation lab.

The BIOME has garnered global recognition for supporting innovative tech and digital health companies and connecting them to Novartis’s vast network of expertise and resources to accelerate solutions that improve and extend patients' lives.

The BIOME has hubs in Barcelona, Hyderabad, London, Milan, Montreal, Nuremberg, Paris, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, and Tel Aviv and is rapidly expanding into other digital innovation communities.

What do The BIOME and APIs have in common? Why can data be a pitfall when building for scale in healthcare tech?

Listen to the full episode on Apple, Amazon, and Spotify to dive into the discussion on digital health and technology.


Listen to the Podcast


In this episode, Dipanwita Das and Jacob LaPorte explore: 

1) How The Biome is like an API

Why are legacy companies in need of innovative solutions when navigating through a digital transformation?

LaPorte explains, "The problem is that the industry itself is not digitally native. The complication becomes - how do you truly begin to co-create effectively if you've never done that in this area before?" 

He says that this was really the question that they have started to answer with the Novartis Biome.

Learn more about the transformations underway at the Novartis Biome - and what makes it similar to an API - by listening to the full episode on Apple, Amazon, or Spotify.


2) Why the time is now for digital health

From machine learning to the Internet of Things, technical innovations over the past decade have set the stage for the flowering of digital health today.

Alongside these advancements, the pandemic has jumpstarted digital innovation across the board.

As LaPorte says, “Innovation is driven by necessity, right? If you have something that's working, you're very unlikely to switch to something else because you perceive the risk. If you have something that's not working at all, like some parts of our healthcare system during the height of the pandemic, you're willing to try a lot of things. That's what we saw happen."

How did temporary policy shifts unfold? LaPorte explains, "The embedding of digital health solutions in the US, for instance, is getting rid of state licensed insurer agreements where physicians had to get licensed in every state in order to practice, which really impeded telemedicine. We're starting to see that policy being extended."

He provides another example. "EMR companies and other providers that amass data are now being required to create standardized APIs to be able to exchange these data. Importantly, that is being enforced now. They're having to actually do it."

"I think because of these near-term catalysts, we're going to see an amazing period of digital health where we're going to be able to, hopefully, more rapidly exchange data," shares LaPorte.


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3) Building for scale in healthcare platforms

Building technology for scale, especially when it comes to AI in healthcare platforms, can run into problems of standardization. LaPorte cautions product innovators to think carefully about the data.

He says, “My general rule of thumb is, when you're building for scale, thinking about an advanced analytics platform in healthcare, you need to be concerned about what is the data that you're looking at. Is this data that you're generating off your platform — which allows you a lot more control over the type of data, the structure of the data, the ontology of the data — that then makes it a little more amenable — or much more amenable, as it may be — for ML? Is it data that someone can actually easily provide to you? Is it operational data that people typically track in very similar ways? Or is it data that is very hard for people to give you access to?"

LaPorte continues, "We're usually talking about, in machine learning in this context, healthcare data and being able to predict or help diagnose. The problem is we tend to take a very small set of data that someone has access to. It produces really promising results.

But then what happens? They can't get access to other data as easily, or the data is fragmented. It's structured very differently than what it might have been in the original context. That makes it very problematic to scale a lot of these clinical decision support tools that I see out there. So, that's what you have to take into mind.”

Hear the full conversation Apple, Amazon, and Spotify by listening to the podcast today. 


Novartis BIOME Co-Founder & Global Head on Digital Health and Technology

Listen to the Podcast


About the Podcast

The Mighty Capital Podcast features interviews with industry experts and business leaders across technology, product and venture capital.

This Sorcero miniseries is hosted by CEO and Co-founder Dipanwita Das and centers on how to build great AI-powered products for Life Sciences. 

This podcast is also made possible by Foley and Lardner, and the team at Products That Count who supported the podcast production. 


Mighty Capital Products that Count





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You Might Also Like:

• Listen to Sorcero Podcast Series Episode 3: Black Opal Ventures Founder on Building for Equity in Life Sciences Products

• Sorcero in The MSL Journal: What Could Faster Medical Insights Management Mean for Patient Outcomes?

• Discover the latest guides, trends, and resources for navigating AI Analytics and Insights for Life Sciences in the brand new Sorcero Resouce Center >> Subscribe today 📩


Christina Cullen

Christina is a skilled content marketer and storyteller with a knack for SEO.