Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Big Data the 'new gold rush,' report predicts | Healthcare Dive

Each time there is a new IT development health information technology companies rush into the newly created vacuum.

  • "Healthcare is becoming a data problem," CB Insights reported. More than 2,310 exabytes of healthcare data is projected to be produced by 2020, up from the 153 exabytes that were produced in 2013.
  • Human data and the ability to mine and analyze it is transforming healthcare and fueling a “new gold rush” of tech giants eager to cash in on this data revolution, Fortune reported.
  • The data are coming from multiple sources. EHRs have an 86% penetration rate and 113 million wearables have been sold in 2017, according to CB Insights. Personal information, health history, medical claims, medications, clinical trials and academic research generate about 750 quadrillion bytes of data a day — or about 30% of data worldwide, Fortune reported.
Healthcare is becoming more data-centric. Companies already positioned in artificial intelligence could have an edge in pushing the envelope with data-driven tools that transform how doctors diagnose and manage diseases, optimize clinical trials and improve workflow.
AI expertise is among the three main advantages for Google parent Alphabet, CB Insights said.
Google Ventures, Alphabet's venture capital arm, has increased its digital health and healthcare deals in the past five years. Last year, the number of GV healthcare deals was 27, up from nine such deals in 2013.
In December, Google launched Deep Variant, an open source tool that uses AI to create an image of a person’s genetic blueprint using sequencing data. Available on Google Cloud, Deep Variant is the product of Verily and the Google Brain team.
GV-backed startup Flatiron Health develops real-world data platforms for cancer research in addition to selling EHR software. Swiss pharma Roche Holding AG recently paid $1.9 billion to buy the remaining 87.4% of the privately held firm not already owned by Roche.
Flatiron currently has data on 20% of U.S. patients with active cancer, Daniel O’Day, CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals, told Fortune. “What set Flatiron apart was that it was able to create regulatory grade, real-world data,” he said.
In a nod to analytics’ value in healthcare, CMS last week finalized coverage of DNA sequencing for advanced cancer patients. When used as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with specific genetic mutations that may respond to an FDA-approved therapy, the tests can improve treatment decisions.

The mountain of data
Advances in data analytics is being fueled by Alphabet, Google and others which began with . Google's Deepmind in 2016 when Google and the U.K.’s government health service partnered to study whether computers can be trained to spot degenerative eye problems early enough to prevent blindness.

Google DeepMind, the London-based artificial intelligence unit owned by Alphabet Inc., announced a research partnership today with the National Health Service to gain access to a million anonymous eye scans. DeepMind will use the data to train its computers to identify eye defects. The aim is to give doctors a digital tool that can read an eye-scan test and recognize problems faster.
Earlier detection of eye disorders related to diabetes and age-related macular degeneration could allow doctors to prevent loss of vision in many people, according to a statement by DeepMind Tuesday announcing the project with the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Separately, DeepMind has announced the creation of a health care review board to scrutinize its work with the NHS. The nine-member panel includes a patient safety advocate, the editor of The Lancet medical journal, and others with health and technology backgrounds. DeepMind’s relationship with the NHS has been criticized by some privacy advocates who worry the data will be used for other purposes besides medical advances. DeepMind has said it will only be for health care purposes.
DeepVariant is an analysis pipeline that uses a deep neural network to call genetic variants from next-generation DNA sequencing data.
The healthcare industry has been cautious about adopting AI, but many believe AI and cognitive learning can help clinicians perform routine tasks more efficiently and increase engagement and treatment options using precision medicine. Jvion recently debuted an AI-enabled product, developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, that helps to providers identify vulnerable patients and intervene to reduce preventable deaths.

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