Disease Control App Wins Health Data Challenge

An application from Health 2.0 Spring Developer Challenge could help identify and better control the spread of disease across America.

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Disease Control App for Doctors Wins Health 2.0 Data Challenge; Analyze This!

Web application helps public health agencies find, analyze and address emerging epidemics

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – March 22, 2010 – Practice Fusion has named Epicenter the winner of Analyze This! part of Health 2.0’s Spring Developer Challenge. Using Practice Fusion’s sample of 15,000 de-identified health records, available free through Microsoft’s Windows Azure Marketplace, Epicenter developer and self-confessed “data nerd,” John Schrom, said his application could help identify and better control the spread of disease across America.

“Epicenter allows doctors to benchmark local patient data against a uniform dataset to identify anomalies in real-time,” said Schrom. “It would also allow doctors to quickly identify local disease outbreaks, the groups they’re occurring in, and then share those high-risk patient profiles with the wider medical community to drive proactive treatment initiatives, more targeted screening and faster warnings.“ A video demonstration of Schrom’s Epicenter application can be viewed here.

As part of the Health 2.0 and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Developer Challenge, Analyze This! entrants were asked to use Practice Fusion’s dataset to answer pressing public health questions around obesity trends, drug efficacy, disease outbreaks and treatment outcomes.

Schrom, a 26 year old epidemiologist with Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, believes increased access to de-identified patient data is critical to the development of potentially lifesaving healthcare informatics tools, like Epicenter.

“De-identified patient data is the best way to find health trends that would be missed otherwise – a broad view of what’s happening on a national scale provides small practices ways to find out how their patient data matches up against national health quality measures and allows doctors to identify and mitigate risk better and faster,“ said Schrom.

The Windows Azure Marketplace dataset provided by Practice Fusion’s Research Division for the Analyze This! contest included data on vitals, diagnoses, medications, prescriptions, immunizations and allergies in a de-identified, HIPAA-compliant format. Matthew Douglass, Practice Fusion’s Vice President of Product Development, said applications like Epicenter illustrate the scope of possibility for data-driven health applications in the medical field.

“Researchers, developers and universities all need access to de-identified medical data to help inform studies, identify health trends and ultimately improve the standard of care for patients everywhere,” said Douglass. “Analyze This! winner, Epicenter, shows us that a health dataset, such as Practice Fusion’s, has a profound real-world use; enabling doctors in everyday clinics to analyze and better understand their own patient data for actionable insights.”

Schrom receives $5,000 for his winning entry, as well as a ticket to Health 2.0 San Diego, where he’ll deliver a live demo of the application on stage. Other finalists in the Health 2.0 Analyze This! competition included:

  • ScriptDrift: a web application used to analyze and interpret prescription data, including the relationships between medications, medical conditions, doses, doctors, patients, and how these factors intersect.
  • Red Corner: an interactive, color coded, 3D visualization of patient population health, including blood pressure, height, temperature, BMI, and other vital signs.
  • QuaMe (Quantified.Me): an iPad application that visualizes a user’s personal health data (e.g. age, gender, BMI, chronic conditions) against the entire population to deliver peer group comparisons.

Practice Fusion’s de-identified health dataset is a powerful resource available to the health sector for developing the latest treatments, medicines and care processes. More than 70,000 doctors and nine million patients make up Practice Fusion’s health community, representing one of the largest and most comprehensive views of America’s health in aggregate. Supported by Government health initiatives including Health.data.gov, Practice Fusion and Microsoft, through the Windows Azure Marketplace, are focused on delivering increased open access to broad-scale health data.

About Practice Fusion’s Research Division

Practice Fusion’s Research Division provides information from one of the largest, longitudinal clinical databases in the US for the purposes of clinical research and public health analysis. With a focus on real-time insight into adverse drug reactions, disease outbreaks and other national health issues, Practice Fusion’s Research Division powers studies that are providing new insight into healthcare and how it is delivered.

Press Contact – Helen Phung