I recently had a discussion about the value of hackathons.
Here was my argument.
The Problem: Cancer Research Doesn't Work
- Cancer research hasn't improved age adjusted cancer death rates since 1930 (page 2).
- Just 6.6% of cancer patients currently see benefits from existing drugs.
- At the current rate of progress, it would take more than 200 years for all existing patients to be helped.
The Reason: Research is Science, not health centric. No Urgency. Not enough Risky research. Siloed Data
- Science Centric: Research focuses on Science not Patient Health.
- Leisurely: Research timeframes are measured in in terms of yearly grants, next year's conferences, paper publication deadlines and tenure tracks
- Not terminal patient hospital visits, Progression Free Survival and Patient Lifetimes
- No Risk: Can't have breakthroughs since cancer researchers are especially risk adverse.
- "Risky" 2020 CDMRP funding = 0.09B - and this is for -all- medical research, not just cancer.
- "Riskless" 2020 NIH/NCI funding = $44.9B/$6.9B
- NIH/CDMRP = 500x; NCI/CDMRP = 77x
- Siloed Data: It's tough for enthusiasts and tinkerers to create something since data is kept prisoner.
A Solution: Hackathons - Patient co-led research and biomedical data analysis for open discovery
- Patient Centric - Patient drives process so that researchers focus on Health, not Science
- Fast - Most of the patients suffer from Rare, Terminal diseases, so speed is essential.
- Risky - A safe space for qualified researchers to have crazy ideas.
- Open Data - Patients supply their own data, which stays within HIPAA
RTTP Hackathon's Track Record: Done Well, Done Cheaply, Done Effectively
- They've done 6.
- Proven Process
- Very capital efficient
- Produced peer reviewed papers (Clemson one, Clemson two).
Just One Question for you: Do you have enough risk in your research portfolio?
- Is your research portfolio mix too conservative?
- If so, where will the breakthroughs come from?
Hackathons provide a cost effective solution for adding risk