by Lauren Dubinsky
, Senior Reporter | October 05, 2015
From the October 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Era of big data
Health care is beginning to leverage the power of big data. Industry experts believe that analyzing large quantities of data has the potential to improve treatment outcomes and reduce costs. “Radiation oncology, like a lot of other fields in medicine, is just now trying to wrap our collective heads around what to do with some of these enormous information databases that are becoming available in health care,” says Dr. Brian Kavanagh
, presidentelect of the ASTRO Fellows Program and interim chair of the department of radiation oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Kavanagh and his colleagues are currently compiling a large-scale registry of patients who are undergoing radiosurgery. Over the next two to three years, they are partnering with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons to collect information on over 27,000 patients who were treated with radiosurgery for benign and malignant brain tumors, in order to identify quality metrics and determine the best ways to select patients for treatment and get the best outcomes.
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“There are many questions you can think to ask about how something can be done better,” says Kavanagh. “The problem is that there are simply not enough resources or the time available to test every single good question in a classic, randomized, controlled clinical trial.”Back to HCB News