InterSystems gets active with HealthShare

InterSystems has extended its HealthShare strategic informatics platform, adding patented new technology called iKnow that allows users to retrieve and use unstructured data such as dictated notes, images and free text.

It has also added new Active Analytics technology that enables up-to-the-minute patient data to be analysed and acted upon.

InterSystems' group commercial director Steve Garrington said the technology provided not only assessment, aggregation and analysis of structured data, but also a deeper, more meaningful analysis of all of the information that is captured.

“If you look at what happens generally, there is a lot of information and the volume is increasing in all sorts of ways,” Mr Garrington said. “There is a growing burden on the health professional and the trouble is that if you don't assemble data in a smart way to enable access to key information, you are in danger of confusing people rather than actually informing them.”

The iKnow technology can automatically discover 'concepts' within documents and unstructured data, and find and unlock the relevant relationships to better understand the data and improve decision making.

“We are using this to help us collect and interpret free text as well as coded information,” he said. “Not everything is coded, and it's all very well to search for codes in a structured database, but there is a lot of health information that is recorded in what I would describe as narrative reports.

“We are using quite sophisticated algorithms in the software that will help our customers use technology to interpret and to draw from a whole list what is meaningful and relevant. In a simplistic way, say you get a copy of the Sydney Morning Herald and you see the headlines, but you want to be able to pick out the key things and read the stories that you are interested in.

“If you apply that same principle to a wealth of health information, you can establish concepts or trends and use the software to scan a whole lot of information and then highlight and pick out the really key things. It is geared to help streamline workflow to allow the clinician or carer to focus on what is important.”

Describing it as a “breakthrough” technology, Mr Garrington said Active Analytics would enable health systems to take effective action from aggregated data. Active Analytics can deliver notifications to caregivers or launch clinical or operational processes based on rules invoked from a previous analysis.

It features data modelling and intuitive tools for designing pivot tables, graphs and charts, as well as sophisticated workbench design capabilities. InterSystems said Active Analytics “uncovers the missed opportunities associated with purely retrospective analysis, without the high cost of creating and maintaining a data warehouse”.

“By active, what we mean is that it is one thing to analyse information but it's another thing to be able to take effective action,” Mr Garrington said. “The term Active Analytics refers to the scenario where you take some information, you analyse it, and you decide what you are going to do to change something as a result of the analysis you have undertaken – whether that is the way you operate or a specific clinical or business process.

“Whereas often people analyse data and produce a report that just sits on a shelf, we are aiming towards driving people to take positive action that enables some improvement. It can be a positive improvement or a mitigation of risk improvement. If we can eliminate an adverse drug event or if we can make sure that a procedure is performed more quickly and cost-effectively, we see that as a positive outcome.”

InterSystems has been trialling the new technology with a number of global partners before its general release, including at Mater Health Services in Queensland, which is a long-time InterSystems customer.

Mater's CIO, Mal Thatcher, said that his organisation was looking at HealthShare to extract more information from the Mater Clinical Data Repository (MCDR), which is connected to 20 different clinical and patient administration systems using InterSystems technology.

“With iKnow technology, HealthShare now also opens up the possibility for us to gain insight into annotations associated with health records such as discharge summaries,” Mr Thatcher said. “We are also interested in how Active Analytics can explore the wealth of data stored inside the MCDR and potentially make some of it available for patient care or research.”

Mr Garrington said the new technology was in general release from today.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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