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Innovating Our Way to High-Resolution Healthcare

Strands of DNA in various shades of blue with an overlay of semi-transparent data points

My husband is an inveterate TV channel-surfer. The moment a commercial appears, he starts clicking through the stations. When I pay attention, I’m struck by the incredible difference in image quality between old 60’s game show reruns, the current versions of those same shows, and the blinding clarity of the sports programming that usually begins and ends these scans.

At the  InterSystems Global Summit this week, we announced  InterSystems IRIS for Health, a data platform designed so that application developers can extract and deliver high resolution information from healthcare data. With all its capabilities for helping to realize the promise of precision medicine, the release of the new platform also inspired me to look back at the past, clicking through my own memories just as Gary surfs channels.

In the early days of computerized healthcare analytics, we were thrilled when summarized billing data and tabular reporting delivered insights, albeit fuzzy ones, into care processes, costs, and opportunities for improvement. And even those blurry pictures strained computing capacity and forced us to rethink data management. As healthcare information systems have become more sophisticated, along with greater storage and computing power, we’ve been able to measure and monitor care with greater clarity, leveraging ever more granular clinical data and better visualizations.

But simply having more data doesn’t necessarily lead to better clinical information. In a 2011  paper, Stead et al pointed out that we already have far too many data points available for clinical decisions than the human mind can process for a single decision.  Rhode Island Quality Institute President and CEO  Laura Adams puts it more picturesquely – clinicians are seeking a needle in a haystack, and much of the time, we just keep piling on more hay.

For health IT to empower revolutionary healthcare transformation, will require that creative innovators harness the incredible volume of big health data now available. They’ll need to leverage artificial Intelligence and machine learning, create solutions that serve up those insights real time in intelligent clinical workflows, smart devices, and new therapies, and make healthcare even more intuitive than consumer electronics. Which is, of course, why we created InterSystems IRIS for Health in the first place.

With high resolution healthcare that good, even my husband won’t want to look away!

Want to learn more about InterSystems IRIS for Health?  Click here!

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