Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Better medicine, brought to you by big data through new types of data analysis

 

A good overview of how improved data analysis and presentation is improving health care delivery.

I especially liked the slideshare presentation found below in Related Articles.
The 42 slides in Big data – a brief overview outlines what big data is, its sources and processes, how it is analyzed, current “players”,examples, market analysis, future, and opportunities.

From the 15 July 2012 blog post at Gigaom

Slowly but surely, health care is becoming a killer app for big data. Whether it’s Hadoop, machine learning, natural-language processing or some other technique, folks in the worlds of medicine and hospital administration understand that new types of data analysis are the key to helping them take their fields to the next level.

Here are some of the interesting use cases we’ve written about over the past year or so, and a few others I’ve just come across recently. If you have a cool one — or a suggestion for a new use of big data within the healthcare space — share it in the comments:

Genomics. This is the epitomic case for big data and health care. Genome sequencing isgetting cheaper by the day and produces mountains of data. Companies such asDNAnexusBina TechnologiesAppistry and NextBio want to make analyzing that data to discover cures for diseases faster, easier and cheaper than ever using lots cutting-edge algorithms and lots of cloud computing cores.
BI[definition of business intelligence] for doctors. Doctors and staff at Seattle Children’s Hospital are using Tableau to analyze and visualize terabytes of data dispersed across the institution’s servers and databases. Not only does visualizing the data help reduce medical errors and help the hospital plan trials but, as of this time last year, its focus on data had saved the hospital $3 million on supply chain costs….
..Semantic search. Imagine you’re a doctor trying to learn about a new patient or figure out who among your patients might benenfit from a new technique. But patient records have been scattered throughout departments, vary in format and, perhaps worst of all, all use the ontologies of the department that created the record. A startup called Apixio is trying to fix this by centralizing records in the cloud and applying semantic analysis to uncover everything doctors need, regardless who wrote it…
..Getting ahead of disease. It’s always good if you figure out how to diagnose diseases early without expensive tests, and that’s just what Seton Healthcare was able to dothanks to its big data efforts…
and more!

July 17, 2012 Posted by | health care, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Case for Personalized Medicine: Interview with Edward Abrahams of PMC

This article in the 25 November Science Roll blog has interview Q and A’s with Edward Abrahams, Ph.D. of the Personalized Medicine Coalition. Topics include RNA sequencing, gene sequencing economics, and gene sequencing statistics.

The third edition of The Case for Personalized Medicine (PDF) was released a week ago

Some quotes….

The power in tailored therapeutics is for us to say more clearly to payers, providers, and patients—‘this drug is not for everyone, but it is for you.’ That is exceedingly powerful.”

John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Eli Lilly and Company

 

 

As the field advances, we expect to see more efficient clinical  trials based on a more thorough understanding of the genetic  basis of disease. We also anticipate that some previously  failed medications will be recognized as safe and effective  and will be approved for subgroups of patients with specific genetic markers.”

Margaret Hamburg, M.D.

Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, National Institutes of Health

November 25, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Promise of genomics research needs a realistic view

Promise of genomics research needs a realistic view

This is James P. Evans, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

From the February 17, 2011 Eureka news alert

In the ten years since the human genetic code was mapped, expectations among scientists, health care industry, policy makers, and the public have remained high concerning the promise of genomics research for improving health.

But a new commentary by four internationally prominent genetic medicine and bioethics experts cautions against the dangers of inflated expectations – an unsustainable genomic bubble – and it offers ways to avoid it while still realizing “the true – and considerable – promise of the genomic revolution.”

“This commentary is an attempt to bring some balance to the hopes and claims that swirl around the issue of genomic medicine. It is a cautionary essay that tries to extol the real and formidable potential of genomic medicine but also attempts to counter what we see as exaggerated claims, said lead author medical geneticist James P. Evans, MD, PhD, Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Our fear is that if we are uncritical and naïve in our enthusiasm for these exciting technologies we risk both diversion of precious resources and premature implementation which could hurt patients – as well as a backlash which will hurt our field,” Evans warns.

The commentary appears in the February 18, 2011 issue of the journal Science. Co-authors with Evans are Eric M. Meslin, PhD, director, Center for Bioethics, Indiana University, Indianapolis; Theresa M. Marteau, PhD, FMedSci, professor of health psychology, Kings College, London, UK; and Timothy Caulfield, LL.M., F.R.S.C., Canada Research Chair in Health Law & Policy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

“Breathtaking” is how the authors describe the progress already made in genomic research. But, they caution, the considerable promise of genomics must be evaluated through a realistic lens. Advances in individualized medicine, or pharmacogenetics for example, still require the importance of human behavior in health outcomes: the most powerful predictor of a drug’s efficacy depends less on genetics than whether the patient takes the drug.

Among the reasons they cite making genomics the persistent recipient of “hyperbole” and inflated expectations, some are tied to impatience for practical applications, market forces and unbridled (but uncritical) enthusiasm. The news media also is named for “playing an obvious role in the creation of unrealistic hopes.”

“These forces act together to produce a kind of “cycle of hype” that drive overly optimistic representations of the research,” said co-author Timothy Caulfield.

In their short-list of recommendations for avoiding inflation of the “genomic bubble, Evans and co-authors offer the following: (1) reevaluate funding priorities to stress behavioral and social science research aimed at behavior change for improving health; (2) foster a realistic understanding “of the incremental nature of science and the need for statistical rigor,” within the scientific community and that the media make more responsible claims for genomic research; (3) maintain a focus on developing high-quality evidence before integrating good ideas into medical practice.

“By highlighting the risks of continuing to promise results from genomic science, we were hoping to draw attention to a more sustainable approach to reaping the benefits from genomic science,” said co-author Eric Meslin.

The authors assert their belief that the current age of genomics will provide great benefits to human health “Ours is not a call to gut existing research or too-rigidly tie funding to degree of disease burden … The pursuit of our common goal – improved human health – demands that we take a hard look at disease causation and order our priorities accordingly.”

 

Related Web sites and articles

The Genomic Revolution (exhibit by the American Museum of Natural History) is an online Web site with videos

(US) Human Genome Project Information

The Genomic Revolution: Unveiling the Unity of Life [online book]

Genome Revolution FOCUS (a Duke University Library Guide)

Genomic Links (online resources for professionals, teachers, and all)

 

 

 

February 19, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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