Meaningful Use of Complex Medical Data
The Meaningful Use of Complex Medical Data Symposium brings together scientists, engineers, and clinicians from diverse backgrounds to explore the opportunities and challenges introduced by the growing abundance of digital data captured during the delivery of clinical care. Hosted at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a world leader in pediatrics, this symposium includes talks, poster presentations, panels, and ample time for thoughtful discussion and robust debate. We will also present the results from a “grand challenge” to derive meaning from a real-world critical care data set.
Each day clinicians around the world observe the outcomes of therapy provided for patients under their care. With the adoption of electronic health care records (EHRs), hospitals and clinics are collecting data from tens of thousands of these practical therapeutic “experiments” daily. However, much of this data remains inaccessible and unanalyzed, so that providers are unable to learn from the wealth of information therein.
The collective experience recorded in this data may hold the potential to revolutionize the delivery of care, drive new medical discoveries, and improve patient outcomes. Therefore, it must be not only stored and analyzed but also shared and leveraged to inform the care of the next patient. Existing clinical information systems, data policies, and research infrastructures are poorly suited to these tasks. Therefore, the medical community must think strategically and even look beyond its field for inspiration on topics such as:
- Robust system architectures for the efficient capture, storage, management, and sharing of highly granular clinical data. Commercial EHR systems prioritize support for traditional clinical care, billing, and reporting, not large-scale, ad hoc research of massive multi-institutional data sets. Hospitals and clinics must adopt flexible software and data architectures and open standards, drawing inspiration from data-intensive businesses in other fields and on the web.
- Novel analytical techniques and algorithms for turning this data into information. Many standard techniques of classic medical research were developed in the day of paper charts and small data sets. The data deluge created by EHRs motivates the adoption of models and methods developed in other domains that are better suited to learning efficiently from “big data” and adapting rapidly to new data as it arrives.
- Flexible, sensible regulatory frameworks that protect patient privacy while enabling crucial research. The utmost priority in medicine should be protecting patients and ensuring privacy and security. Nevertheless regulations and policies must be developed that accomplish this goal without prohibiting analysis that could well save lives now or down the road.
- Well-designed decision support tools that translate cutting edge research to the bedside. The principles of user experience and design so prominent on the web and in high technology do not appear to have penetrated the medical software industry. These systems are designed more to record data than to deliver information, and the problem is exacerbated as the amount and scope of the data grows. Medicine must be on the forefront of research into how to enable human beings to perceive information in large stores of data.
Click here for the program information and list of speakers