He appears deeply relaxed, as if he has just finished meditating, with the quiet, precise voice of someone who doesn’t need to raise it to be heard.
But his new company Enlitic is pioneering an approach to medicine that uses “deep learning” – a game-changing computer technology based on how the human brain operates – to identify cancers in radiology scans faster and more accurately than experienced radiologists.
That’s just the first step for Enlitic’s technology, which Howard says can be applied to just about any disease. Tests are reportedly showing promising results in detecting a range of fractures, non-cancerous masses such as kidney stones and more. After radiology, Enlitic plans to tackle pathology, genomics and molecular diagnostics.
A Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and the youngest member of the Silicone valley think-tank, Singularity University, Howard is a gifted, iconoclastic thinker.
He describes deep learning as the “next internet”. The company that successfully pioneers a data-driven approach to medicine – in which machines improve detection and diagnosis of disease – will, Howard believes, be the field’s Google. He wants Enlitic to be that iconic, world-beating company.