Home  |   Subscribe  |   Resources  |   Reprints  |   Writers' Guidelines

Making Sense of the Health Care Data Deluge

The All of Us research program, CAR-T therapies, increasingly accessible genetic testing, and other applications for new medical data are all starting to make the concept of precision medicine a reality. As these new data-driven, personalized treatment plans begin to enter clinical practice in specialty care settings such as oncology and mental health, it is time to assess the limits of current HIT ecosystems to broader clinical adoption, and where the opportunities lie for innovative solutions to bring precision medicine into the mainstream.

In a new report, “Precision Medicine and Health IT: New Data, New Challenges,” Chilmark Research examines the current hurdles to integrating an exponentially growing amount of data from a wide variety of novel -omics sources into clinically actionable insights for personalized care plans and more effective population health management.

“While it will take decades to realize the full impact of precision medicine, in the near term, we will see steady progress in incorporating -omics data, but clinicians and patients will need to balance substantial uncertainty across many diseases (especially in cases of comorbidities) and still leave room for subjective interpretations nested in these new forms of data. As clinical decision support systems and precision medicine platforms evolve, the burden of accessing and interpreting new insights will be facilitated by better AI [artificial intelligence] and informatics tools,” notes report author Jody Ranck, DRPH.

The report features an overview of current activities to integrate precision medicine data into EHRs through the efforts of programs including the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network, which provides clinical decision support tools for genetic test results at the point of care. Also covered are the efforts of the federally funded Precision Medicine Initiative, a population study that aims to address many of the biases in clinical research (including the All of Us cohort research program) as well as develop new tools to facilitate data sharing.

Not surprisingly, a major finding of the report is that AI and machine learning are driving a great deal of the innovation in precision medicine. Current solutions already available include computational phenotyping tools, new models for drug discovery and development, and platforms for matching patients with appropriate therapies and/or clinical trials. Pharmacogenomics is currently one of the most broadly adopted applications for precision medicine, with more than 230 prescription drugs now providing genetic recommendations on the label.

In addition to IT challenges to providing clinically actionable data for precision medicine, payment models must also evolve to match the business case for developing treatments for smaller populations and broader shifts toward payment for value in health care. This shift will have implications for patients, payers, providers, and the pharmaceutical industry.

This report profiles leading vendors in most prominent IT segments for precision medicine applications and services: clinical research and biomedical informatics, data-aggregation platforms, interpretation of genomic/microbiome data, clinical decision support, and AI analytics. In addition to full vendor profiles for those market-ready solutions, a list of “Vendors to Watch” is also included for promising vendors with solutions still in early stages of development.

Current and prospective vendors of solutions with precision medicine applications will find the vendor key differentiators, market segments, and future trajectory especially useful for market positioning and planning product strategy. For payers and pharmaceutical stakeholders, overviews of payment model innovations and IT infrastructure to support data sharing will be most applicable as they incorporate precision medicine into the shift to outcomes-based reimbursement. Providers will benefit from the analysis of key components of precision medicine and how those data can be transformed into clinical action for individual patients as well as population health management. Consultants, investors, patient advocates, and others will also benefit from this in-depth report.

— Source: Chilmark Research