Harmonizing data to achieve precision medicine

Practice Management

The medical industry is inundated with data. Many organizations struggle to move forward with actionable insights, however, tangled in the disconnectedness between data sets.

"The key is access to data — if we lower the bar to [how we] share data, we can get where we want to be with personalized medicine," says Gary Palgon, vice president of healthcare and life sciences at Alpharetta, Ga.-based Liaison Technologies.


Liaison Technologies strives to prepare data for the analytics process by providing the "plumbing, underpinnings and heavy lifting of complex data," so organizations can focus on leveraging the data to deliver better care, says Mr. Palgon.


Because personalized medicine requires massive amounts of data, interoperability proves critical to achieving this method of care. Organizations are tasked with gathering information from innumerable EMR systems, combining the data with other sources like Internet of Things. People are gathering their own data through devices like the Apple Watch and FitBit, which organizations can leverage to understand each patient at an even deeper level.


"How can you understand the largest population and the individual if all of these different data sources are out there?" asks Mr. Palgon. "The world of healthcare is trying to bring that data together, but they're really not sharing it."


Mr. Palgon recommends organizations adopt a data-centric view to achieve personalized medicine, instead of just purchasing the next big device or application.


"Find a way that you can gain access to new and existing data sources and harmonize it so you can analyze it when and where and how you want to later on," explains Mr. Palgon.


Ultimately, if providers want to see improved outcomes, they must tackle analytics with a long-term outlook. Many organizations are focused on meeting present compliance standards, so they can't begin managing a "big spaghetti of data."


Instead of data scientists devoting 80 percent of their time preparing data for analysis and 20 percent of their time actually analyzing it, Liaison Technologies strives to flip the model.


"[Liaison Technologies] makes it easier to integrate and get the data ready," says Mr. Palgon.


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