What’s Your Big Data Idea?

And what are you doing about it?

“If a 15-year old who didn’t even know he had a pancreas can develop a sensor for pancreatic cancer that costs 3 cents and [takes] 5 minutes to run, imagine what those additional 3.5 billion people and just about anyone can do,” Jack Andraka told me in an interview following his speech at the recent TEDx SanJose event as I was sipping my morning green coffee.

Speaking on stage at TEDxSanJose December 1, 2012, young scientist described his cancer detection breakthrough. Andraka created a dipstick sensor using diabetic test paper to detect mesothelin, a protein associated with pancreatic cancer, in blood or urine. It has achieved 90 percent accuracy in tests and proved to be 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests.

Speaking on stage at TEDxSanJose December 1, 2012, young scientist described his cancer detection breakthrough. Andraka created a dipstick sensor using diabetic test paper to detect mesothelin, a protein associated with pancreatic cancer, in blood or urine. It has achieved 90 percent accuracy in tests and proved to be 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests.

I walked with Jack down the halls of Intel, where engineers, computer scientists and researchers have played a key role in creating the technologies that Jack uses as if they were as accessible as air. I though that if healthcare is to become the next space race, it will require emphatic, big idea chasing wunderkinds like Jack, the 15-year-old has been called the Thomas Edition of our age, a science prodigy and genius ahead of his time for inventing a faster, cheaper, more reliable way to detect pancreatic cancer.

In the interview captured with my iPhone 5, Jack told me that now he is teaming with two other award-winning teens to develop a disease diagnosis device the size of a smartphone to compete for the $10 million X Prize.

Now that’s drive and inspiration.

Here’s my full story for Intel Free Press: Big Data Key to Disease Detection Quest.

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