Eric J. Topol & Kai-Fu Lee –

In an unprecedented move in April, the US government ordered a Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) company,  iCarbonX, to divest its majority ownership stake in the Cambridge, Mass.-based company PatientsLikeMe. We believe this action is antithetical to advancing understanding of health and disease, and prevents the potential synergy of US and Chinese strengths. iCarbonX had acquired PatientsLikeMe as part of its efforts to combine data from health records, genomics, the microbiome, wearable biosensors, diet and the environment. Such multimodal data processing is one of the most far-reaching opportunities of AI in healthcare, both for clinicians and patients. Here we argue that the global health benefits of international collaboration, although challenging to actualize, outweigh those of confrontation and competition. 

Read the full article in Nature Biotechnology.