Taking advantage of more-open data standards in other countries, MedRed BT Health Cloud will provide public access to aggregated population health data.
7 Big Data Solutions Try To Reshape Healthcare
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
A new health cloud is making strides for open health data by providing access to aggregated population data (based on an anonymized population of more than 50 million lives) going back two to five years.
MedRed, a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare software company, and BT, a UK-based telecommunications company, launched the health cloud Tuesday with the blessing of the federal government. The White House Office of Science and Technology invited MedRed and BT to present the MedRed BT Health Cloud (MBHC) at a big-data event Tuesday in Washington, D.C., in a move signifying the federal government's recognition of the importance of open data in healthcare.
The MBHC data was taken from the UK through the UK National Healthcare Service, as well as Wales and some of Scotland.
"There's definitely a gap between where the industry wants to be in terms of access to data and where we are," said Will Smith, CEO of MedRed. "With anything like this, in order for things to advance, we have to show the benefits of allowing people to liberate data. There needs to be a dialogue with the federal government to liberate more data."
The data includes clinical data, demographics, education and income, providing context within an overall picture of a patient's health.
MBHC is another example of the use of non-U.S. data for healthcare data projects. Merck recently launched a partnership with Israeli health system Maccabi, for access to their de-identified data. The advantage of non-U.S. data is that it tends to provide a longitudinal look at a patient's lifespan because patients typically stay with one health system for their entire lifetime.
"People are using foreign data because it's available," Smith said. "The U.K. made some gutsy decisions about data liberation. There's political risk associated and they have a more tolerant climate over there."
Pharmaceutical companies and universities are already using a beta version of MBHC to help develop new drugs, identify new indications for existing therapies, and correlate outcomes. It can also be used to build virtual cohorts for rare conditions. MedRed and BT will charge for access to MBHC going forward.
"The challenge isn't only in finding the data," said Neal Stine, principal consultant at BT. "It's in bringing disparate data sources together to provide an overall picture of a patient's health."
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.