Scientist, Inventor & Entrepreneur
Dr. Christalyn Rhodes is a scientist, inventor and entrepreneur. She is a pioneering biotech innovator and strategist responsible for the innovation strategies at 3 VC funded biotech startups. She originated a range of companies including those that design therapeutics that address diseases that carry a high economic burden as well as those that develop new funding strategies to address disparities in healthcare cost. She designed the technology and authored 5 pivotal patents that changed the trajectory of previously failing companies and projects amounting to a savings of more than $50 million dollars. Read More >
Harvard Horizons Symposium: Cold Migration
The pandemic foregrounded conversations regarding the need for significant shifts in how we consider social, economic, and health equity. As a scientist working in the field, Dr. Rhodes observed first-hand how COVID-19 disproportionally worsened disadvantaged communities' economies and health outcomes. Among the worst affected, two major concerns emerged: equity in access to treatment and confidence in the equity of treatment or drug. While scientific innovation in the field of pharmacovigilance proves to be the pill we need to address the latter, the former requires a major shift in our thinking about the economics of fair and equitable health.
If you build a hammer, everything looks like a nail, or so we are told as scientists, but what happens when you are presented with more than 2.5 quintillion nails. What can or should you build or discover? 2.5 quintillion is the approximate number of bytes of data we generate daily. Thus, the 2.5 quintillion nails problem is what we face in health data analytics every day. Data identification and electronic warehousing of data in healthcare has grown at an astronomical rate. In fact, over 90% of all of the world's data ever collected was collected in the last 2 years, much of it is specifically related to healthcare, yet few medical advances have followed. A recent Accenture survey found that only 32% of health-data focused companies reported realizing tangible and measurable value from data. Why has the practice and business of data generation and identification simply outpaced data utility in healthcare? In this talk, Dr. Rhodes discuss the the 3 main challenges that health data analytics companies and researchers face and potential solutions to move us from data to decision analytics in healthcare.
As protests for social equity and human rights evolve from demonstrations for acknowledgment and awareness to actionable solutions, there is a noticeable absence of instruments that quantitatively measure change and the effects of those changes as well as a growing desire to pitch it all and start over. Moreso, there is a growing public perception that the only way to achieve acceptable egalitarianism is to dismantle our current financial structures and re-build a more socially aware system built upon the premise that capitalism is wholly antithetical to social and health equity. As a Black American scientist and innovator, Dr. Rhodes have discovered that the assumed trade-off between profitability and social responsibility, while widely believed, is nevertheless an inaccurate fallacy. We can indeed leverage our capital markets to galvanize change across social justice issues ranging from identity-based inequalities to health equity.
Our economy has shifted, and the on-demand culture's manifesto emphasizes personal health and personal choice, and self-governance. These individuals explorers have also proven to be the most innovative and earliest adopters driving new concepts from breakthrough ideas to execution. Corporations choosing to balance corporate pride and humility to embrace this new culture of intrapreneurship discover unexpected returns in profit and people satisfaction as they embark on purpose-driven work.
In 1993, the NIH began to demand that women and minorities be included in clinical trials. 1993! Before the 90s, few studies were conducted on women and today few drug development research studies take place in female lab animals, yet women are the primary consumers of medicines. Some egregious examples include a menopause/heart disease study in which 8,000+ men were enrolled but no women, as well as NIH-funded studies studying obesity with breast and uterine cancers which enrolled NO WOMEN! These data and some key other factors led Dr. Rhodes to develop a strategy to defeat imposter syndrome permanently granting her the confidence to strategically open her loudmouth in the boardroom as a ferocious advocate of equity in women’s health.
"I just wanted to thank you for speaking at our Coffee Hour event this week. Our conversation with you was incredibly impactful and student feedback from the event so far has been positive all around. So many students felt heard and understood from your words, and your advice echoed empowerment across the board. It was wonderful to host you, thank you again for taking the time to speak with us. Thank you again for sharing your experience and empowering us in the process!"
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