Health Influencer 50: No. 1

1. Deborah DiSanzo, GM, IBM Watson Health

It's no surprise the big data revolution has been embraced by the healthcare industry, with demand driven by the move away from a fee-for-service reimbursement model and the arrival of promising new technologies. But the demand started off in a relative vacuum and tech giants such as IBM are rapidly playing catch-up to try to fill that void.

Read the MM&M editorial series, Watson Week. 

IBM has pointed its charismatic super­computer Watson at the big data challenge, led by Deborah DiSanzo, a pioneer in the field of automated external defibrillators, former CEO of $10 billion health-tech company Philips Healthcare, and now GM and head of Watson Health.

During an investor briefing earlier this year, DiSanzo said: "It is the opportune time for cognitive [computing] to help employers, providers, payers, and governments understand the costs of treating chronic disease patients and provide pathways to provide better outcomes at a controllable cost. This is a market we're going to help build."

From Watson Health's HQ in Cambridge, Massachusetts, DiSanzo leads an IBM team of more than 5,000 around the world in this drive toward achieving better outcomes via the smart application of big data, while also innovating in that context to advance health on a global scale.

Correction: An earlier version of this profile had misstated the size of DiSanzo's IBM team

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MM&M's and PRWeek's Health Influencer 50

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