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Big Plans for Big Data

Big Plans for Big Data

From the White House to Silicon Valley, everyone’s focused on harnessing patient data to create tailor-made care. Here are some of the collaborations taking place to turn big data into big promise.

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A database aims to gather genetic, molecular, behavioral and environmental data to develop targeted treatments that take a person’s medical history and lifestyle into consideration. The database is part of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. It is being developed by researchers from Vanderbilt University, Google’s Verily, the University of Michigan, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

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An open-source framework brings research study apps designed for iPhones to Android users and opens the door to new study apps designed for Android devices. Called ResearchStack, the software gives developers access to scientifically validated consent forms, surveys, sensor inputs, secure communication channels and large amounts of storage. A team from Cornell Tech, Open mHealth and touchlab created ResearchStack. More than 50 percent of smartphones in the U.S. ran on the Android operating system in 2015.

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People can track their symptoms and medications and share the information with their physicians through Apple’s CareKit. The open-source software sends information from the CareKit app to Epic and Cerner, a health IT company, to create a more complete picture of an individual’s overall health. The goal is to provide information that will assist clinicians in making better diagnoses and treatment plans. 

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