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As an ICU physician, Leo Anthony Celi knows the immense power health data can hold. If it’s harnessed thoughtfully, it could speed diagnoses and drive better care. And if it isn’t wielded carefully, it can make matters worse.

That’s why he’s become a prominent advocate for open data sharing as a way to make medical research not only more democratic, but also more robust. Celi has organized hackathons to tap into a trove of deidentified ICU data from Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care. His computational physiology research group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology runs MIMIC, a leading real-world medical database available for free to researchers. Now, he’s taking on another role as the editor of the new open access medical journal PLOS Digital Health.


The nonprofit publisher Public Library of Science, one of the first to provide open access to its journals, recently announced the expansion of its roster, which also now includes journals dedicated to global public health and sustainability. Submissions for the new digital health journal will open this month, and the inaugural issue is expected to come out by the summer.

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