October 29, 2014 – : Big Data Promise


Anchor lead:  Has big data delivered on any of its promise in healthcare? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Electronic medical records have been deployed nationally, and many researchers are attempting to glean new insights about disease and treatments from these massive quantities of data.  Why haven’t we seen much insight so far?  Dan Ford, Vice Dean of Clinical Investigation at Johns Hopkins, says the data is much more unwieldy than anyone knew.

Ford: Randomized clinical trials are much, much easier. We know how everybody got in there, they all got one treatment or another, and the study is over. In electronic medical record data people are coming into our system disease free, early in the disease, end stage disease.  Some have been in the system for a year, some three, some twenty, to analyze that and get strong data that we all would have  confidence in, it takes a lot more time.   :31

Ford says new methods and tools for analysis are also necessary, but believes the promise of electronic health records will come to fruition.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.