Cleveland Clinic spinoff spreads big data across health care

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We reported in October on the $10 million big data investment being made at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center by companies such as IBM (NYSE: IBM), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and dbMotion, designed to explore the secrets of human health. Not to be outdone, the Cleveland Clinic also has been investing in the technology to unlock its own secrets and to streamline its methods and procedures for better health lifecycle management and profitability. The health care company even spun off its own cloud-based platform business in 2009, now known as Explorys.

Explorys was created to leverage big data in order to manage fee-and value-based health care systems using a platform that supports patient-centered medical home and accountable care models with massively-parallel data processing. This helps organizations analyze clinical, operational and financial data sets to provide better-informed medicine, efficient record-keeping and more meaningful analytics.

Explorys has been adopted by 13 major integrated healthcare systems.

"Analyzing that much data, we are able to provide insights as to what is working, where the right care paths are and where the variations of care are," said Charlie Lougheed, president and chief strategy officer at Explorys.

Most recently, Explorys was recently chosen by Legacy Health, an Oregon-based, multi-hospital health system, to drive its enterprise and community-wide value-based care initiatives.The company will help Legacy Health aggregate and analyze clinical and operational data across its delivery system.

One of the biggest challenges health care organizations have is developing statistically relevant analytical bases from such a broad source of data, much of which is governed by different rules, regulations and access levels. Explorys makes the data searchable in a privacy-protected and HIPAA-compliant framework.

"Health care may not have the volume and velocity of a Facebook or Google, but they sure have variety," Lougheed said. "And one of the problems in the industry is that payers have more information on patients and patient populations than the providers do. We think everyone is better off when the providers are armed with the right amount of information at the right time and we have been focused on enabling that."

Lougheed added that when it comes to big data, the status quo for too long has been reactive to reports and queries, and even alerts. He says it is about time to start using data differently and not just to forecast, but use it to truly predict, model and optimize.

Explorys chose a cloud-base model because it is much easier for a provider and payer to share data in appropriate ways when there is a trusted third party between them, and an apparatus to turn an access key on or off  for certain data and certain users.

For more:
- see Becker's Hospital Review post

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