Dr. David Eddy's Vision for the Future of Medicine

Nov 24, 2009, 3:42 AM, Posted by Nancy Barrand

“Whether Eddy will get a Nobel Prize, I’m not sure. But he’s certainly changing how we think about health care.” – Dr. Lynn Etheredge, Director of Health Insurance Reform Project at George Washington University and Pioneer grantee, on Dr. David Eddy

We encourage you to read “Modeling Human Drug Trials – Without the Human,” a profile of Pioneer grantee Dr. David Eddy and Archimedes, his mathematical model of human physiology, diseases, interventions and health care systems. Featured in the December issue of Wired and authored by Jennifer Kahn, the article explains that Archimedes is part of Eddy’s “vision for the future of medicine: faster, cheaper, broader, clinical trials — all happening inside a machine.” While clinical trials are still required to test the safety and effectiveness of new medications, Archimedes — which Eddy has spent more than a decade developing — recreates aspects of diseases not readily measurable by researchers and turns out results at a much faster rate, and for far less money.

Pioneer is currently supporting Dr. Eddy to develop and launch ARCHeS, a powerful Web-based interface that gets a brief mention in the article. As Kahn writes, ARCHeS “will allow doctors, policymakers and researchers to access Archimedes and design their own trials.” By doing so, Pioneer aims to ensure that health officials can attain a better understanding of the implications of their decisions before making recommendations for patient care, not only advancing disease treatments but also curbing unnecessary health care costs for patients. ARCHeS will not be a database of answers, but an evidence-based tool that can be used to find answers.

Dr. Eddy will be visiting with us at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in early December to share a beta version of ARCHeS and we’ll, in turn, share highlights from his presentation via the Pioneer Twitter account. We hope you’ll follow.

In the meantime, tell us what you think of the article. We’ll be monitoring blogs and tweets that write about the piece and sharing them here later in the week.