Strata Rx Conference Talks Big Data for Healthcare
At this year’s O’Reilly Strata Rx Data Makes a Difference Conference in Boston, experts discussed the three “V”s of big data: velocity, volume and variety, and how they’re being managed to improve patient care while preserving patient privacy.
Currently, big data represents a number of opportunities not yet achieved in the industry, but not without a number of hurdles that throttle our progress. As one presenter explained, the primary challenge is to harness information from multiple sources that has “surpassed the bounds of human cognitive capacity.” But as many speakers touched on, beyond this basic obstacle faced by anyone leveraging big data, healthcare poses a number of unique concerns, primarily when it comes to privacy.
Among the speakers were the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) CTO Bryan Sivak, representatives of major healthcare and life sciences organizations such as Mayo Clinic, Pfizer and Humedica/OptumHealth, and experts on software and platforms such as SAP HANA, IBM jStart, and MIT Media Lab.
For HHS, Sivak presented on the department’s liberation of over one hundred databases of information of HealthData.gov for the public and private sector, as well as providing patients a platform, called Blue Button+, through which they can transmit personal health data. Claudia Williams, Director of the State Health Information Exchange Program in HHS’s office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology also revealed that over 80 percent of eligible hospitals have adopted electronic health records (EHR) systems through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
Meanwhile, health care representatives from organizations like Brigham and Women’s Hospital, General Catalyst Partners and Aetna discussed the ways in which they’re already seeing big data impact their cost curve and transform the healthcare delivery model to serve the greater population.
From the software side were vendors such as SAP and IBM, who discussed data delivery speed, storage models, and analytics that help to deliver the most accurate diagnoses. In addition, experts discussed the growing role of the cloud, virtual machines, real-time analytics and automated searches, and how they’re changing the way healthcare professionals look at both structured and unstructured data.
Last there was a discussion of data privacy that sought to arrive at how to leverage big data most effectively while continuing to comply with the HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule, whether in a single healthcare organization or across health information exchanges.