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Oncology Big Data Spotlight


IP Blog | Dave Melin | June 9, 2015

This week in health care trends, our oncology big data spotlight includes two companies who are leveraging big data to prevent hospital readmissions and unlock genetic cancer markers and a poll that suggests doctors are reluctant to share all health data with patients.

The articles below are from our dedicated Big Data in Oncology e-magazine. We’re constantly adding valuable content to this updateable magazine, so make sure to check our e-magazine frequently for new intelligence. You can 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 buttonInsurer Uses Personal Data to Predict Who Will Get Sick

This NPR article follows John Iovine, a man who lives on the edge of hospital readmission, and the efforts of Independence Blue Cross, a Philadelphia-based insurance company leveraging its big data to try to prevent costly hospital readmissions. Through complex algorithms that analyze and predict when former patients may be about to get sick again, the company “is beginning to show a pretty significant drop in hospitalization rates in our region.”

New Poll Shows Two-Thirds of Doctors Reluctant to Share Health Data with Patients

Amid the recent debates about transparency and patient access to health care information, a recent poll has found that when doctors are asked “Should patients have access to their entire medical record ‒ including MD notes, any audio recordings, etc…?”, 66% of respondents opposed giving patients unlimited access. 17% of respondents responded with “No, never,” while 49% felt “Access to all records should only be given on a case-by-case basis.”

IBM’s Watson Supercomputer to Speed Up Cancer Care

In the quest to maximize the effectiveness of big data for oncology care, IBM has come up with a new solution: converting their Jeopardy!-winning supercomputer, Watson, to analyzing patient genomes for actionable cancer-related genetic markers. According to IBM VP of Watson Health Steve Harvey, “The technology that we’re applying to this challenge brings the power of cognitive computing to bear on one of the most urgent and pressing issues of our time – the fight against cancer – in a way that has never before been possible.”


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