Structured Health Data - Strata Rx Panel

October 16, 2012 by Andrea Spillmann

Data is an important tool in any number of settings, but nowhere is its power clearer than in medicine. Physicians make diagnoses on the basis of test results; data from thousands of patients identify the most effective treatment and dosage, and drug and disease breakthroughs come about through detailed statistical analyses of millions of data points. The Strata Rx Conference, held today and tomorrow in San Francisco, focuses exactly on this life-saving data. As the conference organizers say, "Data is driving change in the healthcare industry. In the hands of those who know how to use it, data brings advances in personalized and predictive medicine, significant cost savings, and research that points to entirely new products and markets."

We are pleased to announce that our CEO Kuang Chen will be joining a distinguished panel at the Strata Rx conference to discuss the potential of data currently trapped on paper. Moderated by Darren Hite of Aberdare Ventures, the panel will also include Mohit Kaushal of West Health, Kyna Fong of Elation EMR, and Geoffrey Nudd of ClearCare. These individuals are all working to change how data is accessed and used in health care.

One of the primary issues to be discussed is the fact that, even with a push towards increasingly digital systems, paper persists, with valuable data trapped on its pages. This article scratches the surface of describing the sometimes life-threatening challenges hospitals and health systems have faced implementing electronic medical records (EMRs). Part of last week's New York Times special health edition on "The Digital Doctor,"  it is just one in an ongoing string of commentary which have shifted from almost euphoric in 2009 (when money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was allocated to strongly incentive the adoption of EMRs) to decidedly cautious today. If there is one thing all these articles have in common, it is this point: digital data is an absolutely necessary part of providing a high quality of care and moving medicine forward in a cost-effective way....but entirely digital workflows are tough to implement and, initially at least, prone to error in a setting where one misplaced decimal point could cost a life. Hospital EMRs are just the tip of the paper data iceberg, with home health providers, pharmaceutical companies and drug researchers also struggling with a need for digital data but stubborn vestiges of paper-based workflows. Suffice it to say that all the accomplished panelists presenting today have spent significant amounts of time grappling with and beginning to solve these issues and more. (You can check out a bit on Captricity's approach to the problem here.) It's sure to be a fascinating and timely discussion, and we're happy that Kuang will be part of it.

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