AIMed Magazine asked Sean Lane, CEO of Olive, to describe the data challenge he faced in his time working at the National Security Agency (NSA) and to compare the difficulty of working with intelligence data versus healthcare data.

Sean Lane: “My career began at National Security Agency (NSA), I was an intelligence officer, I was really focused on technology, building capability, software applications, databases, really whatever was required. I learned a lot about data and technology there, that’s where I cut my teeth.

The enormity of the data that we had access to in the intelligence community completely dwarfs the volume of data in healthcare, from what I can see so far. The data was coming in at hundreds of thousands of thousands of rows a second. And that was just in the specific geographic area we were looking into.

The data that came in was from all different sources: one may be signal traffic, and the other may be scanned images from people pockets. When I looked at healthcare I wasn’t afraid of the data. A lot of people talk about how healthcare is so unstructured, and there’s so many data problems, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, honestly, compared to some of the incredibly difficult data problems that we had at NSA.

I started a company out of NSA focused on building software for the intelligence community in 2007, sold it in 2011, and I started to look into health care at that point. Everything I’d done previously to that had been nothing to do with healthcare, but all high tech and about adopting the latest technology.

We started with this concept that we called soldier vision, you could provide information to soldiers while they’re walking down the street in real time.

Augmented reality was and still is very nascent in the military. We built it, and it worked. But it wasn’t successful in adoption, it just wasn’t widely adopted by the military. I think they must have decided at some point that they couldn’t proliferate it widely and keep it secure at the same time.

The glasses were positioned to do more than just displaying historical data, we also wanted to do voice biometrics and facial biometrics at the same time. So collecting voices that they hear around and identifying bad guys based on that, and then facial recognition, looking around the room and if somebody is on a watch list, being able to recognise that individual.

I left because I sold my company, the parent company to this capability. I am now the CEO of Olive.”

Quotes from Sean Lane, based on an interview for AIMed Magazine issue 01, which you can read here.