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Big Data in Oncology Spotlight


IP Blog | Dave Melin | July 7, 2015

This week in health care trends, our big data in oncology spotlight includes doctors reluctant to share health data with patients, big data and patient engagement, and a look at how “fuzzy math” contributes to high drug costs.

The articles below are from our dedicated Big Data in Oncology e-magazine. You can also follow us on Flipboard or Twitter, or just watch for the links to this and our other magazines in our regular weekly BioBlog emails. (Don’t get our emails yet? Subscribe here!)

big data cancer buttonNew Poll Shows Two-Thirds of Doctors Reluctant to Share Health Data with Patients

In a recent poll that asked doctors “Should patients have access to their entire medical record ‒ including MD notes, any audio recordings, etc…?” only 34% said “Yes, always.” That leaves 66% who were more hesitant to give unfettered access to patient data.

Using Data to Increase Patient Engagement in Health Care

This article takes a look at athenahealth and how it is using data crunching to optimize service, provider practice, and even patient engagement. According to the author, “The English grandmaster Nigel Short recently declared that computers are stripping chess of its mystery; by crunching reams of data, computers can deconstruct once-obscure board positions in a matter of seconds and reveal the optimal move. Something similar is just starting to happen in health care.”

Cancer Incidence Rates Adjusted for Reporting Delay

Since cancer incidence rates are reported to NCI nearly two years after diagnosis, and released to the public the following spring, there is often much data correction to do to catch the facts up with reality. To try to predict this, NCI has analyzed and modeled reporting delay data in cancer incidence rates.

Why Do Cancer Drug Costs Keep Shooting Up? Fuzzy Math.

In a strongly-worded talk at ASCO, Dr. Leonard Salz of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center shared some striking statistics about drug prices and suggested that the high cost is partially due to the fact that cost is not related to the actual value of the drug: “These drugs cost too much. … Cancer-drug prices are not related to the value of the drug. Prices are based on what has come before and what the seller believes the market will bear.”


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