Tuesday, August 28, 2012

At the Intersection of Big Data and Healthcare: What 7.2 Million Medical Records Can Tell Us

CCC Blog (08/23/12) Kenneth Hines

Big data analytics have enabled researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's SENSEable City Lab and colleagues at GE Healthymagination to create a powerful visual of the relationships between medical conditions based on the frequency of co-occurrences.  The researchers combed through 7.2 million electronic medical records to create an extensive disease network, which they called the Health InfoScape.  Their first analysis shows the numerous and sometimes unexpected associations that exist for any given condition.  The researchers say their results provided new insights into the close connections of conditions, forcing researchers to reexamine conventional categories about disease classification.  "Our initial results are a mix of the expected and the unexpected--simultaneously challenging and reaffirming our preconceptions of health pattern, within individuals, and across the U.S.," the researchers say.  "Now that we have a succinct picture of the human health network in the country, we will continue our investigation by delving deeper into how the environments around us factor into these results."


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