Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Value of Unstructured Data

Paul Hake, a predictive and advanced analytics specialist with IBM’s Healthcare Analytics team, discusses the emergence of cognitive computing and how it can be applied to healthcare. Paul specializes in data mining and machine learning and has 14 year’s experience designing and implementing analytics solutions in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries.

As part of the Medical Development Insights series on URBN, I interviewed Paul about the intersection between “big data” and healthcare. Currently, “structured data” (easily quantifiable, often seen as checkboxes on forms) dominates the healthcare data field. However, “unstructured data” (narrative information) may contain some of the most important information for understanding, diagnosing and treating patients.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Several key quotes from this interview:

  • A lot of the useful, powerful data . . . is not captured in the structured data.”
  • 70% of the determinants of your health is behavioral.”

UDIs and Patient Safety

Under FDA regulations, most medical devices will now include a Unique Device Identifier (UDI) in human- and machine-readable form, creating a system to track and monitor the quality, safety and durability of every medical device. The public will be able to search and download information on specific medical devices.

In this Medical Development Insights interview, I discuss with Jonathan Bretz and Dick O’Brien some of the critical issues that companies now face in coming into legal compliance and the importance of “safety surveillance” through UDIs. Without reliable and consistent identification of medical devices, it is extremely difficult to identify counterfeit products and to help staff distinguish between devices that are similar in appearance but serve different functions.

These issues have recently taken on greater importance as it has been revealed that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has pushed back against plans to include UDIs on Medicare and Medicaid claim forms.

Improving Global Health

I interviewed Beverly Brown for Medical Development Insights on the UR Business Network. Beverly is Director of Development for the Center for Global Health & Development (CGHD) at Boston University. She joined the Center for Global Health & Development at Boston University in 2010 to lead the effort to diversify the funding for programs, people, and projects. She is primarily focused on diversifying funding for global health initiatives, life science research and development.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Once again, it became clear in the interview how important bedrock project management principles can be: listening to the local community to hear their needs and how they describe their needs; planning; scheduling; budgeting; preparing a business model for sustained success.