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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Dealing with Health Data

Good and considerable piece.  Needs to be rethought before losing the complete power of medical data.

Finding a Healthier Approach to Managing Medical Data  By Samuel Greengard 
Communications of the ACM, Vol. 61 No. 5, Pages 31-33

One of the formidable challenges healthcare providers face is putting medical data to maximum use. Somewhere between the quest to unlock the mysteries of medicine and design better treatments, therapies, and procedures, lies the real world of applying data and protecting patient privacy.

"Today, there are many barriers to putting data to work in the most effective way possible," observes Drew Harris, director of health policy and population health at Thomas Jefferson University's College of Population Health in Philadelphia, PA. "The goals of protecting patients and finding answers are frequently at odds."

It is a critical issue and one that will define the future of medicine. Medical advances are increasingly dependent on the analysis of enormous datasets—as well as data that extends beyond any one agency or enterprise. What's more, as connected healthcare devices flourish, at-home and remote monitoring blossoms and big data analytics advances at a staggering rate, the stakes—and the ability to use, misuse, and abuse confidential data grows significantly.

"Healthcare is at a very important crossroads. To move to a more value-based framework and one that rewards patient and doctor behavior, we need to have systems in place that manage data and protect individuals," says Ophir Frieder, professor of computer science and information processing at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and professor of biostatistics, bioinformatics, and biomathematics at the Georgetown University Medical Center.     .... "

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