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.