Moneyball Medicine: MLB Data Analyst Paul DePodesta to Join Scripps | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Moneyball Medicine: MLB Data Analyst Paul DePodesta to Join Scripps

December 23, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

After helping lead an information revolution in Major League Baseball (MLB), data analyst Paul DePodesta is now joining the faculty of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) where he will apply his skills to the emerging field of digital medicine.

STSI is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored consortium led by La Jolla, Calif.-based Scripps Health in collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute. Through this research partnership, Scripps is aiming to improve the effort to translate wireless and genetic medical technologies into high-quality, cost-effective treatments and diagnostics for patients.

DePodesta is a Harvard economics graduate who rose to prominence when, as the assistant general manager (GM) to Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane, he used his knowledge of data analytics to fundamentally alter the way the team recruited players. His time with the Athletics was depicted in the film “Moneyball” through the fictional character Peter Brand, as played by actor Jonah Hill.

DePodesta will serve as an assistant professor of bioinformatics at STSI while maintaining his primary role as vice president of player development and scouting for the New York Mets. In baseball, he has incorporated in-depth statistical performance analysis, which in the sport is also referred to as sabermetrics, into player evaluation. His data-driven evidence-based approach has allowed many Major League teams to adjust their player selection strategies and improve overall team performance. At STSI, DePodesta will work on large medical data projects with the center’s analytics team, which is led by Ali Torkamani, Ph. D., associate professor and director of genome informatics.

“In disciplines as disparate as baseball, financial services, trucking and retail, people are realizing the power of data to help make better decisions,” DePodesta said in a press release statement. “Medicine is just beginning to explore this opportunity, but it faces many of the same barriers that existed in those other sectors –deeply held traditions, monolithic organizational and operational structures, and a psychological resistance to change.“Being part of the STSI faculty allows me to apply the things I’ve learned in baseball to a critical sector of our lives and our economy that is ripe for this kind of revolution,” he said.

Dr. Eric Topol, M.D., director of STSI, added, “Paul has had this amazing ability to take a field that was not assimilating what it could, and make it so much better, more precise and more predictive. We’re very excited about having him join our faculty at STSI and for him to interact with all of our informatics data scientists and get his outside view, and see if we can get the ‘Moneyball Medicine’ field going.”


Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Survey: Infrastructure, Interoperability Key Barriers to Global HIT Development

A new survey report from Black Book Research on global healthcare IT adoption and records systems connectivity finds nations in various phases of regional electronic health record (EHR) adoption. The survey results also reveal rapidly advancing opportunities for U.S.-based and local technology vendors.

Penn Medicine Opens Up Telehealth Hub

Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine has opened its Center for Connected Care to centralize the health system’s telemedicine activities.

Roche to Pay $1.9B for Flatiron Health

Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Roche has agreed to pay $1.9 billion to buy New York-based Flatiron Health Inc., which has both an oncology EHR and data analytics platform.

Financial Exec Survey: Interoperability Key Obstacle to Value-Based Payment Models

Momentum continues to grow for value-based care as nearly three-quarters of healthcare executives report their organizations have achieved positive financial results from value-based payment programs, to date, according to a new study from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

Cerner, Children's National to Help UAE Pediatric Center with Health IT

Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital, the only pediatric hospital in the United Arab Emirates, has entered into an agreement with Washington, D.C.-based Children's National Health System to form a health IT strategic partnership.

Telemedicine Association Names New CEO

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has named Ann Mond Johnson its new CEO, replacing Jon Linkous who stepped down suddenly last August after 24 years as the organization’s CEO.