September 25, 2012

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Data Transparency and the Healthcare Industry

Sarah Cutler

September 25, 2012

New information management solutions are emerging that bring data transparency to the healthcare industry. The Utah Technology Council (UTC) and MD4 Utah held an industry breakfast Sept. 21 to learn how these new solutions will change the rules and how Utah can accelerate the emergence of personalized healthcare.

Dr. Fred Lee, director of clinical and translational informatics for Oracle, discussed how these opportunities can be leveraged by the Utah healthcare and life sciences community to elevate the region to a global leadership role in personalized healthcare.

Lee explained that currently the healthcare industry works as reactive medicine, in which the doctor waits for someone to get ill, tries to fix it and is paid based on how many people are seen. He said, “That’s been great, we’ve had a lot of great advances in healthcare, but it’s run its course both in terms of sustainability and primarily from an economic point of view.”

“The big problem is that reactive healthcare needs to change. We’re trying to perform 21st century medicine using infrastructure and an ecosystem that was really created in pretty much the 19th century, to a large degree,” said Lee.

So what does reactive medicine transform into? Something Lee calls P4 medicine. P4 stand for predictive, preventative, personalized and participatory. The industry would go from reaction to prevention and from disease to wellness. “It represents a completely different business model and a completely different ecosystem than reactive medicine in terms of how you provide care, how you pay for care, how you regulate care and frankly even how customers perceive the care,” Lee said.

Personalizing healthcare means recognizing that wellness means something different to every single person. As well, there is information in databases about patients that is largely unavailable. P4 medicine stresses data liquidity and data transparency between healthcare providers – collaboration around clinical data.

“Utah has tremendous assets that could be applied to the problem, the challenge, the opportunity of personalized healthcare itself,” Lee said. “With world class healthcare organizations, academic medical centers, providers and researchers.”

The technology and life science industries in Utah provide an example of the saturated assets that Utah has. A business model needs to be introduced for P4 medicine with a supportive infrastructure for data collection, integration and transformation and Utah has the potential to play a leading role in the next generation of healthcare.

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