Sector News

Big Data is the ‘next frontier’ for medicine, says Dexcom CEO

November 19, 2019
Life sciences

The health care industry will continue to be transformed by the role of Big Data, DexCom CEO Kevin Sayer told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday.

“This whole integration of health care data is really going to be the next frontier,” Sayer said in an interview on “Mad Money.”

Sayer’s remarks come days after a deal between Alphabet subsidiary Google and hospital network Ascension was revealed, sparking privacy concerns. First reported by The Wall Street Journal, the deal gave 150 Google employees access to data on tens of millions of patients without their knowledge or consent.

CNBC later reported that the partnership is bound by an industry-standard agreement that restricts how Google can utilize the information it has collected. It cannot, for example, use it to sell targeted advertising.

Nevertheless, the reaction to the deal between Google and Ascension represents the latest hiccup around privacy for large technology companies as they expand into the health care space.

But Sayer, whose company has partnered with Alphabet, remains bullish on the potential for technology and data to continue altering health care, pointing to the success Dexcom has already had.

DexCom, based in San Diego, is a medical device company that specializes in the treatment of diabetes. In particular, it makes a device that provides near real-time glucose monitoring, without a finger prick.

DexCom’s stock is up 69.37% for the year, closing at $202.90 on Wednesday. It beat on both the top and bottom lines in its most recent earnings report, while also raising revenue guidance for the year.

Sayer’s appearance on “Mad Money” also comes one day before World Diabetes Day, which seeks to raise awareness about the disease and the 435 million people worldwide who live with it.

“We’re seeing trends all over, as we do Type 2 programs for example, to learn where you take all the data from these patients and you can really diagnose: Are the drugs effective? How do we change activity? What recommendations do we make? What do we learn to eat?” Sayer said.

DexCom’s latest monitoring device, called the G6, tracks data in real-time through a smartphone app, with users allowed to share it with up to 10 people.

Sayer told a story that he recently learned about one patient who was woken up at night while on vacation by her mother. That’s because her mother saw, through the data sharing, that the patient’s blood sugar was low.

“When you can do things like that, and deliver results like that with a system, you’re really solving a very serious problem,” Sayer said.

By Kevin Stankiewicz

Source: CNBC

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