Researchers Tap Big Data To Improve Diagnoses, Treatment Options

May 14, 2014 in News

Researchers across the country are analyzing large pools of patient data in an effort to improve diagnoses and treatment options, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The data typically are collected during routine patient visits and added to patients’ electronic health records. The data range from X-rays to blood test results to physicians’ written notes.

Big Data at Work

Some data-mining projects already are providing results that can influence care. For example:

  • A group of Boston Children’s Hospital researchers examined data from 71,776 patients with sore throats and constructed a way to help determine whether individuals should see a physician to receive a strep throat test;
  • Another study analyzed data collected during physician visits and prescription information from a large insurance plan and found that patients with autoimmune diseases have a heightened risk of epilepsy; and
  • A group of Stanford researchers used data from pediatric patients’ EHRs to find a link between patients’ allergies and flare-ups of uveitis in individuals with juvenile arthritis (Dockser Marcus, Wall Street Journal, 5/12).
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