VA, DOE Partner on Healthcare Big Data Initiative | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

VA, DOE Partner on Healthcare Big Data Initiative

May 5, 2017
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have launched a new partnership focused on combining the VA’s healthcare and genomic data with the DOE’s technologies in big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify trends to support the development of new treatments and preventive strategies.

According to a press release from the VA, the big data initiative will focus on the analysis of large digital health and genomic data from the VA and other federal sources to help advance health care for Veterans and others in areas such as suicide prevention, cancer and heart disease, while also focusing on driving DOE’s next-generation supercomputing designs.

Known as the VA-DOE Big Data Science Initiative, the partnership will be rooted in the DOE’s National Laboratory system, one of the world’s top resources for supercomputing. The effort will leverage the latest DOE expertise and technologies in big data, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing to identify trends that will support the development of new treatments and preventive strategies.

“VA has developed unparalleled health data trend information from some 24 million Veterans who have used VA for health care over the past two decades,” VA Secretary David J. Shulkin, M.D., said in a statement. “We are partnering with DOE to use their high-performance computing capabilities to allow thousands of researchers access to this unprecedented data resource over time in a secure environment. The transformative science that will be developed through this partnership will improve health care for Veterans and all Americans.”

DOE high-performance computing represents the state of the art in global computer science, involving machines capable of millions of billions of calculations per second, according to the VA press release.

One part of the new initiative is MVP-CHAMPION— short for the Million Veteran Program (MVP) Computational Health Analytics for Medical Precision to Improve Outcomes Now. MVP has already enrolled more than 560,000 Veteran volunteers, who have provided DNA samples and granted secure access to their electronic health records for research purposes. The partnership with DoE will maximize the impact of studies using MVP data.

Along with data from MVP and VA’s electronic health records system, the new VA-DOE program will use health data from the Department of Defense, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Center for Disease Control’s National Death Index.

An initial suite of specific studies that are part of VA-DOE Big Data Science Initiative is already being planned. One aims to build algorithms to generate highly tailored personalized risk scores for suicide. The scores could be used by VA clinicians and researchers to help predict which patients are at the highest risk, and to evaluate prevention strategies.

Another project focused on prostate cancer will seek new ways to tell which tumors are lethal versus nonlethal cancer and require treatment, and, by contrast, others that are slow growing and unlikely to cause any symptoms. Yet another study will explore what sets of risk factors are the best predictors of certain forms of cardiovascular disease to inform individualized therapy and treatments for patients based on their individual risk factors.

 

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Study will Leverage Connecticut HIE to Help Prevent Suicides

A new study will aim to leverage CTHealthLink, a physician-led health information exchange (HIE) in Connecticut, to help identify the factors leading to suicide and to ultimately help prevent those deaths.

Duke Health First to Achieve HIMSS Stage 7 Rating in Analytics

North Carolina-based Duke Health has become the first U.S. healthcare institution to be awarded the highest honor for analytic capabilities by HIMSS Analytics.

NIH Releases First Dataset from Adolescent Brain Development Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of the first dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which will enable scientists to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.