“We have seen what was unseeable.”
National Science Foundation announcement on April 10, 2019
The first ever picture of the most fascinating structure in the universe, the black hole, was essentially a data science feat coupled with an international network of 8 radio telescopes functioning as a single planetary receiver. The supermassive black hole at the center of a giant galaxy 55 million light-years away called Messier 87 was successfully visualized after astronomers and data scientists analyzed the petabytes of raw data derived from this virtual consortium of telescopes. A key architect of the algorithm that eventually lead to this historic picture is an inspiring 29 year-old Katie Bouman, who will soon be an assistant professor at California Institute of Technology.
We can be inspired by this international collaboration in astronomy and apply this paradigm to the many “black holes” of medicine and healthcare. If we interconnect our human collective biomedical data, we can have similarly staggering discoveries in the near future.