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Palantir hires former IBM Watson Health executive.

Pedestrians walk past a banner showing Palantir Technologies sign during the company’s initial public offering (IPO) in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), September 30, 2020.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Palantir has hired the first US government’s chief medical officer, a former executive from IBM̵

7;s Watson Heath business, as the data analytics firm doubled down on its life science business.

While the company made its name in the software used by government defense agencies. But sales to federal health-related agencies have doubled from last year.

The company announced on Monday that it had hired Dr. Bill Kassler to lead the public health and life sciences teams in Palantir’s local and global business.

Kassler, formerly Deputy Chief Health Officer at IBM Watson Health, said in an exclusive interview with CNBC that he would bring clinical care and public health expertise to a helping hand in connecting the software with researchers who would benefit from. it

“Palantir is just a group of talented and exciting young data scientists and engineers and really smart, really smart people,” he said. Health and Public Health, and I think we see a lot of tech companies wanting to be in good health but don’t know they make mistakes because they are not so closely familiar and what I can bring to Palantir is my expertise in. As a physician, as a public health physician, as someone who has worked in the field for many years to help with science and strategy and Relationship “

Investing in technology for the next epidemic

In his new role, Kassler said he wants to keep Palantir’s technology in the hands of researchers who can use it to make informed decisions in the next outbreak.

He highlighted three areas that he believes can be improved with the help of technology solutions such as Palantir’s: tackling the supply chain, addressing increasing local cases, and addressing racial and ethnic inequality.

Palantir’s Foundry platform plays a key role in the US government’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as managing the supply chain needed by private companies. Palantir’s technology allows researchers to combine and overlap datasets in Patterns that can clear supply chain weaknesses or outbreak spots allow them to act quickly on their findings.

On the government side, the National Institutes of Health recently started using Palantir’s platform to combine datasets from 50 different academic groups that would provide funding in tricky ways without software.

Palantir’s technology allows groups to share information in a way that protects the patient’s identity. But it helped them gain more insights by analyzing the larger datasets they would have access to in individual settings, said Julie Bush, Palantir’s Federal Healthcare Supervisor at the time. This data is used to better understand how Covid affects people from different backgrounds and conditions.

Bush said such broad information sharing was less common before the outbreak. But she hopes that it will go on.

“People love hoarding information,” she said, “and the outbreak has forced people to come together and be willing to share information and organize the bureaucracy. Other, what we’re really seeing is an incredible partnership happening across the government. ”

Kassler said he wants to see more technology being used for everyday use cases as well. One example he gives is how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have used this technology to help narrow down the source of outbreaks linked to productivity. Rather than recalling produce from larger regions, Palantir could help agencies track their supply chains and identify smaller targets.

“We don’t know what the next outbreak will be,” Kassler said, “so we have to be prepared, and in order to do so, we have to invest in a system that can sense that situation and so organizations can respond responsibly. fast”

WATCH: Palantir CFO explains a seven-year journey to take the company public.

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