Indeed, the future for analytics in healthcare only gets bigger and more ambitious from here.
For one thing, the amount of data being collected for analysis is exploding. "We're bringing quite a bit of genomic data right now into our clinical warehouse," Skarulis says. With the consent of its patients, the organization is studying pathology information from colon cancer patients and certain lung cancer patients, currently importing results from 60 different tests.
"What makes our people very excited is to have the genomic data, and to have this pristine clinical data to be able to combine with it, we think, will be an extraordinarily useful resource tool," Skarulis says.
Researchers are tapping into even newer analytics technologies to analyze structured and unstructured healthcare data. At UW Health in Madison, Wis., chief research information officer Umberto Tachinardi, MD, is creating an advanced data warehouse built in part on technology from I2B2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside), an NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing at Boston-based Partners HealthCare System.