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Sutter, Geisinger, and IBM Teaming up on Analytics Initiative

October 9, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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Sutter Health, IBM Research, and Geisinger Health System received $2 million in a joint research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop big data analytics that can help detect heart failure years sooner than what is currently possible.  

The three-year collaboration between the Sacramento-based Sutter Health, the Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System, and the Yorktown Heights, N.Y.-based IBM Research, will have researchers at the institutions aim to develop practical and cost-effective early-detection methods for application in primary care practices with an electronic health record (EHR) system. The overall goal is to develop a deeper understanding of how to use data within an EHR to detect heart failure earlier.

“Heart failure will remain among our nation’s most deadly and costly diseases unless we discover new methods to detect the illness much earlier,” Walter “Buzz” Stewart, Ph.D., MPH, chief research and development officer for Sutter Health and principal investigator for the project, said in a statement. “Sophisticated analysis of EHR data could reveal the unique presentation of these symptoms at earlier stages and allow doctors and patients to work together sooner to do something about it. Through this research we could transform how heart failure is managed in the future.”

The work is an add-on to research the three parties began in 2009, leading to a series of findings were were published in medical journals and at conferences.  That can be found here:

In addition, the researchers say they hope to uncover practical ways health systems can integrate analytics into primary care. This, the institutions say, will help providers use evidence-based insights to give patients more tailored treatment options.

Analytics initaitives like this one are continually popping up at various healthcare organizations across the country. The New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC) recently announced it is building an advanced analytics platform to improve patient care and operational efficiency,



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