Data is king in the battle against Covid-19
By George Gray, CTO, VP of Research & Development, Ivenix: Featured in MedCity News, 4-26-2020
With the Covid-19 battle as a backdrop, many are recognizing the need for vendors of medical systems and medical devices to step up their efforts in their ability to collect and make available data that can be used to inform retrospective clinical decisions.
As we, the healthcare community, all watch – and experience – the evolving situation of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been introduced to Dr. Deborah Birx, a recognized expert and leader in HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research and global health. Today, she has become a rising leader in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. If Dr. Birx has taught us anything in this fight, it is that data is king and that informed decisions are always better decisions.
In the battle against coronavirus, Dr. Birx and her team of data analysts examine who has the virus, where they reside, how many are hospitalized and who appears to be the most vulnerable to this disease. All of these data points help inform critical decisions around how to mitigate the spread of the virus, how to treat those severely impacted by it and even how to anticipate where critical (but limited) resources such as ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE), hospital beds and healthcare providers will be needed next.
Though playing out in a way that is almost bigger than life, the use of data to drive clinical decisions is an important part of healthcare in this country. Unfortunately, just as Dr. Birx struggles to get all the data she needs to inform the daily decisions of the coronavirus task force, many healthcare institutions struggle with a lack of timely data that could lead to insights, such as how to improve their own delivery of care. And though most document an enormous amount of information, much of this information is hard to access in the aggregate, retrospectively and when not involved in the direct care of the patient.
With the Covid-19 battle as a backdrop, many are recognizing the need for vendors of medical systems and medical devices to step up their efforts in their ability to collect and make available data that can be used to inform retrospective clinical decisions. This starts with collecting the right data, but also requires open access to that data, normalizing the data into a standardized form that can be consumed by other systems and/or stakeholders and finally rapidly transforming data in a form that is representative, meaningful and can be used to help drive decision making
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