Having attended the BioIT World for much of its 14 year history, I noticed that this year's efforts were decidedly more solution and outcomes related than in the past. As part of an IT market research organization that heavily focuses on advances in infrastructure, it was great to see that presentations and individual discussions focused on industry advances that are more centered in the science and health outcomes and less on the hardware and software supporting the efforts. This was also evident in the Best Practices award winners (with the caveat that I was a contributing Best Practices Judge this year as well), signaling clear progress in the field.
With attendance continuing to grow (2100+ attendees) and an audience composition heavily tilted towards scientific versus IT staff, the BioIT World conference remains a valuable meeting venue focused on effective information technology best practices intended specifically to advance progress in the life sciences. Examples of the transition to R&D processes, knowledge growth, and insights supporting improved health outcomes through the leveraging Bio IT was evident throughout the meeting. While the exhibit hall provided access to significant actionable infrastructure out of the box for most supporting IT needs, the balance of participation options seemed to tilt towards information tracks, with as many as 12 different options to choose from at any one time.
As I look back over more than 30 years in the industry and have become increasingly jaded in attending meetings that seem to change little from year to year, I was refreshed by this year's BioIT World conference. In mirroring my belief that Ray Kurzweil's prediction of the in silico human being is on track for reality sometime in the next 10 years, I believe that we are actively moving forward towards more knowledge-based drug discovery and development, a prospect supported by the tenor of this year's BioIT World.
We can only hope for continued and accelerated progress in the years to come. As always, comments and alternative opinions are always welcome and appreciated.