Company Takes Center Stage to Profile Collaboration with UCSF Focused on Early Detection of Breast Cancer
Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) president and chief operating officer Mike Cordano will be a featured speaker at Bloomberg's signature multi-platform event, The Year Ahead, taking place today in New York City. Cordano will address how data is being used to disrupt and transform industries, drive insights that lead to breakthrough discoveries and shape a brighter future in ways not yet imagined. In a general session titled "Unlocking the Power of Big Data in the Age of IoT," Cordano will be joined by Dr. Dexter Hadley, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UCSF Institute for Computational Health Sciences, who will talk about how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can be used to improve the detection of breast cancer. Western Digital has teamed with UCSF to provide the technology infrastructure needed to scale an innovative research program focused on improving the accuracy of cancer detection from mammography scans.
Experts increasingly see the limitations of mammography such as false negatives, that miss a quarter of all cancers through screening, as well as false positives that create unnecessary anxiety and procedures for women who turn out not to have cancer. For every thousand women screened, 100 are recalled for more testing, but only 5 to 10 of them are ultimately diagnosed with cancer. Despite widespread screening, up to a quarter of breast cancers go undetected, surfacing as so-called "interval cancers," that do not show up on mammograms as analyzed by the human eye. While most eventually show up in diagnostic imaging, a tiny portion are never found and seem to be undetectable to the human eye.
With enough data, however, Dr. Hadley believes it will be possible to train machines to detect even these cancers. The BreastWeCan.org initiative aims to encourage five million women across the country to give access to their mammograms, in return for personalized assessments of their breast cancer risk, using calculators developed by clinicians at UCSF and elsewhere. Dr. Hadley's vision became actionable through a donation from Western Digital and a simple suggestion to consider what life-saving, philanthropic goals are possible through the thoughtful gathering and harnessing of the power of data.
Mike Cordano noted that the role of data is rapidly evolving in the world. In addition to the traditional use of data for business purposes, data is now being used for social good across a wide range of causes. By aggregating large amounts of data, organizations can accelerate the ability to spot connections, gain insight and develop predictive algorithms that can provide more precise direction and decisions for individuals, our communities and our planet.
"Right now, a woman's digital mammogram images are kept by her physician, hospital or medical group," Dr. Hadley said. "She can request the images herself and contribute them anonymously to our cumulative library. This will help in obtaining the necessary sample size of mammograms so that we can train computers to detect cancers earlier and more accurately than what is possible today. We estimate that about five million mammograms are needed for us to obtain enough data to detect patterns. We are asking women to submit their mammograms for this university research, so that early detection becomes a given, not just an aspiration."
Dr. Hadley's work has received multiple NIH and UCSF awards for the use of data to screen for skin cancer using everyday smartphones, and for his work in radiology to use AI to better manage breast cancer using big data from routine medical images. In general, the end point of his work is to develop automated image analysis that translates into better patient outcomes and reduced morbidity and mortality across the spectrum of disease.
"The work underway at UCSF is a powerful example of how data is increasingly being put to use in ways that make aspirational goals an attainable reality," said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer, Western Digital. "Data is the foundation of all artificial intelligence and machine learning development. We are pleased to contribute technology that facilitates the long-term preservation and accessibility of large data sets required to enable doctors to glean insight and understanding, empower their patients and ultimately save lives."
Western Digital is honored to share the stage with esteemed care givers, business leaders, acclaimed academics, and states people to discuss and debate some of the most exciting issues ahead with the respected Bloomberg organization.
To learn more about The Year Ahead Summit, including additional details on the speakers, agenda and sponsors, please visit: https://www.bloomberglive.com/the-year-ahead/
Follow the conversation on Twitter with @BloombergLIVE and #TheYearAhead
To learn more about Dr. Hadley's work: http://www.hadleylab.org/
To contribute mammograms toward Dr. Hadley and the UCSF initiative: http://BreastWeCan.org
To learn more about the power of data: http://www.datamakespossible.com/
To read an interview with Dr. Hadley: http://www.datamakespossible.com/2017/05/04/big-data-today-keep-doctor-away/
To view a video from Western Digital and Bloomberg with Dr. Atul Butte about the power of data and precision medicine: http://www.datamakespossible.com/2017/07/26/precision-medicine-can-data-revolutionize-treatment/
To view livestream coverage of the event: https://www.bloomberg.com/live/stream
About Western Digital
Western Digital creates environments for data to thrive. The company is driving the innovation needed to help customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data. Everywhere data lives, from advanced data centers to mobile sensors to personal devices, our industry-leading solutions deliver the possibilities of data.
Western Digital® data-centric solutions are marketed under the G-Technology™, HGST, SanDisk®, Tegile™, Upthere™ and WD® brands.
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements by Mr. Cordano and by Dr. Hadley, including statements by Mr. Cordano regarding Western Digital's technology and development efforts, the evolving role of data and its drivers, and the uses and capabilities of Western Digital's technology. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause these forward-looking statements to be inaccurate including, among others: volatility in global economic conditions; business conditions and growth in the storage ecosystem; impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance and cost of commodity materials and specialized product components; actions by competitors; unexpected advances in competing technologies; the development and introduction of products based on new technologies and expansion into new data storage markets; risks associated with acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties listed in Western Digital's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including the company's Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on Nov. 7, 2017, to which your attention is directed. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and Western Digital undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
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