William was looking for a simple answer to a simple question: How can science help me live longer? His doctor probably knew that somewhere in the large social system of medical researchers, someone could answer that question, but, unfortunately, he was not aware of a mechanism to find that person. Properly constructed information tools and connections could have provided that answer and linked the researcher with the practitioner. Such episodes of interdisciplinary social linkage can be life-changing for people like William, and over the long term can accelerate the pace of basic scientific discovery.
Reprint No. 06102
Robin Portman ([email protected]) is a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton in Rockville, Md. Ms. Portman leads health-related programs for strategic planning, program management and evaluation, and technology systems integration and delivery in support of research programs.
Kevin Vigilante ([email protected]) is a physician and a principal of Booz Allen Hamilton in Rockville, Md. Dr. Vigilante leads health-related programs related to biomedical informatics, preparedness, health safety and quality, and strategic planning.
Brenda Ecken ([email protected]), a senior associate with Booz Allen Hamilton in Rockville, Md., has more than 20 years of health-care experience. She specializes in leveraging technology within the health-care industry for improved performance, reduced costs, and improved market penetration.