SYMPOSIUM ON THE FUTURE OF COMPUTATION IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
Medicine and health care, like other aspects of life in the 21st century, are being reshaped by computational science, big data, and information technology. Given gigabytes of personal genomic data, therapies can be tailored to the individual patient and the individual disease. Standardized electronic health records create an information resource that improves decision making in the doctor’s office and also sheds light on health status across entire populations. Machine learning and artificial intelligence may soon augment the physician’s diagnostic skills. As these innovations promise to improve health and prolong lives, however, they also raise sticky economic and ethical questions. Many new medical interventions come at a fabulous price; can we assure equitable access to them? How do we preserve privacy and personal dignity when the “healing arts” become a high-tech enterprise? This symposium will explore all these questions and more.