Health Catalyst National Data Repository Helps Clients Battle COVID-19
Repository of 80M Deidentified Patient Records Producing Insights
SALT LAKE CITY, April 20, 2020 – Healthcare providers and public health authorities across the country are struggling to answer complex questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Catalyst, Inc. (“Health Catalyst,” Nasdaq: HCAT) is analyzing the data in its Touchstone™ platform of 80 million deidentified patient records to produce real-world COVID-19 insights related to surveillance, testing, capacity planning, and treatment response—and making the results of that analysis available to customers, health systems, public health authorities, state and local government, and biopharma working on vaccine and therapeutics development.
Important research topics, including understanding how existing treatments may affect patient outcomes, have proved difficult to answer with existing data. The datasets being used lack either clinical depth or the power of national scale. But the answers needed today require highly detailed clinical data at the national level.
“There are essentially two strategies for managing COVID-19, and both require vast amounts of this data,” said Dr. Sadiqa Mahmood, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Health Catalyst’s Life Sciences Business. “First, we need better testing and therapeutic treatment options in the near term to improve the testing, care and survival of COVID-19 patients. Second, and longer term, we need a vaccine to protect the population. Both strategies are fundamentally reliant upon large and granular clinical data sets. There are several large commercial and public data sets in healthcare, but the most valuable data in fighting COVID-19 comes from the real-world clinical data extracted from electronic health records. We pull and integrate data from more than 20 different EHR vendor systems, from our clients across the country. Touchstone brings this disparate, multi-EHR vendor data together in one repository, making it uniquely valuable to this national effort.”
“We envisioned and started building Touchstone four years ago to integrate granular, disparate EHR and claims data, and enable unprecedented data analysis for rare diseases and large-scale public and population health. Here we are; COVID-19 is exactly why Touchstone exists. Big compliments go to the entire Touchstone team, led by Aaron Neiderhiser,” said Dale Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at Health Catalyst. “The Touchstone COVID-19 Registry currently contains 64,000 patients, with an additional 500,000 patients with COVID-related symptoms that are being analyzed for risk of being an undiagnosed COVID patient. We’re analyzing all of that data, cleaning it up and looking for patterns that will help us win the battle. When it comes to our COVID-19 response, we are better when we work together as a country, and the same applies to the data we need to understand and wrestle the virus down. Our healthcare data is exponentially better when it is integrated and working together, for deeper and more accurate insights.”
The data in Touchstone is one of the largest national repositories of health data in the world, but what makes the dataset truly unique is its clinical detail, integrating heterogenous EHR systems, including the data artifacts of every healthcare encounter (i.e. orders, medications, labs, therapies, diagnostics, and observations). The data is currently updated weekly, but will soon be updated daily, allowing for a timely view of COVID-19 situational awareness. This data content will continue to grow to more than 100 million patients in the coming weeks and months, enabling even greater understanding of COVID-19 treatments and outcomes, as well as other diseases. In addition to clinical data, Touchstone also contains deidentified claims and costing data, providing data scientists with an unprecedented, single workspace for healthcare analysis.
The COVID-19 registry consists of three core patient types: (1) Patients who, if infected, are at high risk of death or severe symptoms; (2) Patients who are suspected of being infected, but not confirmed; and (3) Confirmed COVID-19 infected patients. From these three patient types, COVID-19 can be analyzed in hundreds of dimensions to inform care pathways and treatment options. The Touchstone data is currently being analyzed to forecast infection and mortality rates, assess impacts on local and national health system capacity, and track COVID-19 test results. It is also being used to analyze the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, Interleukin-6 inhibitors, mechanical ventilation, and to identify those patients at greatest risk for mortality so that those patients can be fast-tracked to optimized care.
“It is important to acknowledge what has made this possible,” said Dan Burton, CEO of Health Catalyst. “Touchstone wouldn’t exist as a national asset without the trust and partnership of our participating clients in enabling the aggregation of these clients and their patients’ de-identified data, and the careful use of this data for mission-consistent purposes such as the battle against COVID-19. Our clients’ willingness to partner together with us in this way can help the entire country, and hopefully, the world.”
Twenty Health Catalyst client organizations are already contributing data to the Touchstone platform, with many more clients considering participation as well, particularly as it relates to COVID-19 analytics. While Health Catalyst’s clients are working at a full sprint, preparing for and reacting to this surge, Touchstone technology is working in the background, compiling data to inform care pathways that lead to better treatment and higher survival—and thanks to the clients who are participating in Touchstone, Health Catalyst will continue to share that work with the world.
About Health Catalyst
Health Catalyst is a leading provider of data and analytics technology and services to healthcare organizations, and is committed to being the catalyst for massive, measurable, data-informed healthcare improvement. Its customers leverage the cloud-based data platform—powered by data from more than 100 million patient records and encompassing trillions of facts—as well as its analytics software and professional services expertise to make data-informed decisions and realize measurable clinical, financial and operational improvements. Health Catalyst envisions a future in which all healthcare decisions are data informed.
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