Life Sciences


Health Catalyst Editors

Delivering Precision Medicine: How Data Drives Individualized Healthcare

Delivering precision medicine requires healthcare to transition from a one-size-fits-all methodology to an individualized approach. This means healthcare professionals tailor treatment and prevention strategies according to each patient’s personal characteristics—their genomic makeup, environment, and lifestyle. To realize these precision care goals, researchers and clinicians must leverage vast and varied amounts of real-world data.
Data access and interoperability barriers have often impeded the precision medicine transformation. However, current healthcare industry trends increase opportunities for researchers and clinicians to more comprehensively understand medical conditions and the patients in their care. These insights establish the foundation for precision medicine and support actionable pathways towards more efficient development of targeted treatments.

Farhana Nakhooda
Larry Lofgreen
Pol Margalef, PhD
Praveen Deorani
Sadiqa Mahmood, DDS, MPH

How a U.S. COVID-19 Data Registry Fuels Global Research

In addition to driving COVID-19 understanding within the United States, a national disease registry is informing research beyond U.S. borders. Clinicians with the Singapore Ministry of Healthcare Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT) have used Health Catalyst Touchstone® COVID-19 data to develop a machine learning tool that helps predict the likelihood of COVID-19 mortality. With this national data set that leverages deep aggregated EHR data, the MOHT accessed the research-grade data it needed to build a machine-learning algorithm that predicts risk of death from COVID-19. The registry-informed prediction model was accurate enough to stand up to comparisons in the published literature and promises to help inform vaccine research and, ultimately, allocation of vaccines within populations.

Sadiqa Mahmood, DDS, MPH

Using COVID-19 Value Sets for Patient Identification

The U.S. healthcare system was not prepared for a health crisis of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Hospitals are working to facilitate widespread distribution of information within their organization and to local, state, and federal authorities to successfully manage this novel infection. EHRs and Lab Information Systems (LISs) have become public health tools for disease surveillance and management.
Due to signification variation in EHR data, informatics tools are needed to define patients with suspected SARS-Cov2 Infection and confirmed COVID-19 infection. With the aim of building an extensible model for a COVID-19 database, Health Catalyst has built a detailed approach that leverages a heuristic methodology for capturing both confirmed and suspected cases.
Health Catalyst has proposed value sets that define two patient cohorts for the registry for confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients, stratified further into three levels of confidence: high confidence suspected, moderate confidence suspected, and low confidence suspected.

Elia Stupka, PhD

Creating a Data-Driven Research Ecosystem with Patients at the Center

As patient data because one of the healthcare industry’s most valuable assets, organizations are establishing new practices around accessing and handling data. In question is the practice of de-identifying patient data for widespread cross-organizational data collaboration without compromising patient privacy. But because deeper and richer data drives better clinical understanding and, ultimately, better outcomes, does separating patients from their health data and how it’s used give researchers and developers the best insights? Or do data users risk losing critical connection with the patients and insights into therapies their lives, disease, treatments, and deaths that contribute to new therapeutic approaches?
It’s time to consider a progressive approach to patient data that keeps the patients involved by informing them when and how their data is used to earn trust and engagement, making patients partners in data-driven healthcare transformation.

Alyssa Antonopoulos
Adem Albayrak
Sadiqa Mahmood, DDS, MPH
Elia Stupka, PhD

Data-Driven Precision Medicine: A Must-Have for the Next-Generation of Personalized Care

Under a precision medicine approach, clinicians, academics, and pharma and biotech researchers and regulators aim to deliver the right drug for the right patient at the right time. Data, however, can present a challenge to precision medicine goals due to gaps in clinical care, research, and drug development when organizations don’t have the ability to capture and report on relevant real-world data. With the right systems to collect and share clinical and molecular data, the healthcare industry can realize the full benefits of precision medicine.

Elia Stupka, PhD

Healthcare Data: Creating a Learning Healthcare Ecosystem

Improving the future of global healthcare requires a shift towards a real-time, digital learning healthcare ecosystem—a goal that data-driven action will help achieve. Elia Stupka, Health Catalyst senior vice president and general manager, life sciences business, shared his insights with on the structure of this ecosystem and its power to improve individual patient health around the world.
According to Stupka, “If we can all shift towards the massively transformational purpose of a real-time, connected, digital learning healthcare ecosystem, our children and grandchildren will hopefully see a world where most diseases will be prevented, diagnosed and treated for all citizens and hospital stays will be a thing of the past for most patients.”

Health Catalyst Editors

A New Era of Personalized Medicine: The Power of Analytics and AI

Healthcare is looking towards an era of personalized medicine in which providers customize treatments for the individual patient. Realizing this tailored level of care s a new level of data volume and analytics and AI capabilities that, while novel to healthcare, other industries are thriving in. Choosing the right role models as healthcare works towards the analytics- and AI-driven territory of personalized medicine will guide informed strategies and establish best practices.
With experience and expertise in these key areas, the military, aerospace, and automotive industries can serve as healthcare’s best examples:

The human cognitive processes of complex decision making.
The digitization of their industries, with the “health” of their assets as key drivers.
Operating in a “big data” ecosystem.

Health Catalyst Editors

Harnessing the Power of Healthcare Data: Are We There Yet?

What can healthcare learn from Formula One racing? According to Dr. Sadiqa Mahmood, SVP of medical affairs and life sciences for Health Catalyst, race support teams leverage about 30TB of baseline data to create a digital twin of the car, track, and racer for simulation models that drive decisions at each race. Applied in the healthcare setting, a digital twin can help clinicians better understand each patient and their health conditions and circumstances in real time and make comprehensive, informed care decisions. But for the healthcare digital twin to happen, the industry must move away from data silos and towards a digital learning healthcare ecosystem.

Dale Sanders

Bridging the Data and Trust Gaps: Why Health Catalyst Entered the Life Sciences Market

Why would a healthcare data warehousing and analytics company partner with the life sciences industry? Because trust and collaboration across the industry—between life sciences, healthcare delivery systems, and insurance—is the only path to real healthcare transformation.
Health Catalyst recognizes an industrywide improvement opportunity in collaborating with life sciences to build mutual trust, integrate data, and leverage analytics insights for a common interest (i.e., patient outcomes). By aligning themselves around human health fulfillment, Health Catalyst, their provider partners, and life sciences will advance important healthcare goals:

Improving clinical trial design and execution.
Stimulating clinical innovation.
Supporting population health.
Reducing pharmaceutical costs.
Improving drug safety and pharmacovigilance.

Elia Stupka, PhD

Extended Real-World Data: The Life Science Industry’s Number One Asset

The life science industry has historically relied on sanitized clinical trials and commoditized data sources (largely claims) to inform its drug development process—an under-substantiated approach that didn’t reflect how a new drug would affect broader patient populations. In an effort to gain more accurate insight into the patient experience and bring drugs to market more efficiently and safely, the industry is now expanding into extended real-world data (RWD).
To access the needed breadth and depth of patient-centric data, life science companies must partner with a healthcare transformation company that has three key qualities:

A broad and deep data asset.
Extensive provider partnerships.
An outcomes-improvement engine to support the next generation of drug development.

John D. Halamka, MD, MS

Precision Medicine: Four Trends Make It Possible

When realized, the promise of precision medicine (to specifically tailor treatment to each individual) stands to transform healthcare for the better by delivering more effective, appropriate care. To date, to achieve precision medicine, health systems have faced financial, data management, and interoperability barriers. Current trends in healthcare, however, will give researchers and clinicians the quality and breadth of health data, biological information, and technical sophistication to overcome the challenges to achieving precision medicine.
Four notable trends in healthcare will bolster to growth of precision medicine in the coming years:

Decision support methods harness the power of the human genome.
Healthcare leverages big data analytics and machine learning.
Reimbursement methods incentivize health systems to keep patients well.
Emerging tools enable more data, more interoperability.

David Crockett

Going Beyond Genomics in Precision Medicine: What’s Next

Precision medicine processes, while involving genomics, are not confined to working with data about an individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle. Precision medicine also means putting patients on the right path of care, taking into consideration other individual tolerances, such as participation and cost. Precision medicine processes incorporate data beyond the individual, pulling in socio-economic data, as well as relevant internal and external data, to create an entire patient data ecosystem. With reusable data modules, this information is processed within a closed-loop analytics framework to facilitate clinical decision making at the point of care. This optimizes clinical workflow, thus leading to more precise medicine.

Eric Just

The Top 4 Ways De-Identified Data Improves Research

Level 1 of the Healthcare Analytics Adoption Model is providing de-identified data marts and self-service tools. Researchers navigating the complex research process can use de-identified data in each step of the process to increase their chances of having more successful research projects.
Using de-identified data not only removes research roadblocks, but also enables researchers to navigate the four fundamental research steps with more ease. There are four specific ways de-identified data improves research:

Enables early discovery and exploration to test the validity of the hypothesis before committing time and resources.
Enables researchers to explore and refine their cohorts and determine whether the patient population can support the scope of the project.
Enables researchers to put together strong grant applications without having to tax the resources of enterprise data analysts—and without having to wait for analysts to answer relatively straightforward questions.
Enables researchers to come to the IRB with a strong, fully supported application. A data-driven research process ensures that both researchers and IRB reviewers don’t have to waste their time on projects that may not be viable.

Eric Just

Turn Research Into Care Delivery Improvements Using the Research Analytics Adoption Model

Research is a complex yet vital component of improving care delivery, and it can be hindered by a variety of organizational and technical roadblocks:

Insufficient tools and processes
Poor infrastructure
No single source of truth for data

Health systems can overcome these common research roadblocks and turn analytics-powered research into care delivery improvements by using the Research Analytics Adoption model as a strategic roadmap.
The model consists of 8 levels designed to align operations and research priorities:

De-identified tools and data marts
Delivery of customized data sets
EDW-facilitated study recruitment
Centralized, research-specific data collection
Automated research operations reporting
Biobank/genomic data integration
Multi-site data sharing
Translational Analytics

Eric Just
Sean Whitaker

The 3 Challenges of Translational and Clinical Research Data Management and a Strategy to Succeed

Researchers are facing problems with clinical research data management. These challenges include: 1. Accessing healthcare data due to technology barriers, regulatory barriers, and organizational barriers; 2. Inefficient use of time and resources when working with the data because of poor study recruitment, data cobbling with Excel and Access databases, and materials waste when samples can’t be found.; and 3. Translating research discovery into clinical practice because systems aren’t in place to move new best practices into everyday clinical care.