Health IT

Could an EMR plugin using big data help physicians make diagnosis more efficient?

As healthcare providers and hospitals explore the best ways to use big data from de-identified patient records, one startup sounds like it’s onto a great idea. The founders of Grand Round Table are developing a plug-in for electronic medical records that would give physicians, especially younger doctors, the power to quickly reference treatment approaches used […]

As healthcare providers and hospitals explore the best ways to use big data from de-identified patient records, one startup sounds like it’s onto a great idea. The founders of Grand Round Table are developing a plug-in for electronic medical records that would give physicians, especially younger doctors, the power to quickly reference treatment approaches used by other physicians in similar circumstances.

Grand Round Table is part of DreamIt Health’s inaugural class of startups. The idea is the plug-in would automatically extract relevant information from the patient’s chart and match it against a database of de-identified medical records, case reports, and evidence-based medical literature from The University of Pennsylvania and other institutions. Co-founder and CEO Eric King said it has been working with Albert Einstein Medical Center and Penn Medicine to develop pilots to test the plugin.

“The key to our company is a clinical recognition engine that uses natural language processing of text to scrape/extract medical concepts and from that, recommend related cases and medical literature,” said King. “Utilizing clinical data better will revolutionize the way that medicine is practiced by everyone.”

The way expertise is utilized now is very resource intensive, observed King. A patient may have to see several doctors, who then have multiple consults and that can take time. “If the existing knowledge were better utilized this wouldn’t need to happen, King reasons. “If this worked well, it would optimize access to knowledge when physicians needed it.”

Grand Round Table’s technology reminds me a bit of what Verdande Technology is doing in the OR using case-based reasoning. Its Edge platform detects similarities between a particular case and past cases. It gives physicians a suggested course of action based on similar, past cases where certain solutions resulted in positive outcomes.

Among some of the potential challenges Grand Round Table faces are access to de-identified patient data, which many hospitals are reluctant to offer. King acknowledges that there’s a bit of a bias against “expert systems” by older physicians.

On the other hand, the solution could also be one way to offset the question of how best to address the physician shortage and increased workload physicians are facing as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

 [Photo Credit: Doctor using laptop from BigStock Photo]

 

 

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