InterSystems' Revamped HIE Platform Mines Patient Data for Patterns

InterSystems has launched a new version of its HealthSense platform that features data-modeling and enhanced analytics to allow doctors to search through unstructured data.

InterSystems, an IT vendor that powers many state health information exchange (HIE) platforms, has introduced a new version of its HealthSense record-exchange software that adds new data modeling and analytics capabilities.

Announced May 14, the latest version features InterSystems' iKnow technology, which allows doctors to search through unstructured narratives of patient histories. Most clinical data, such as images and text, are unstructured and in multiple file formats.

In fact, about 90 percent of all clinical information is unstructured, according to Paul Grabscheid, vice president of strategic planning for InterSystems.

A common platform for data sharing is necessary for the information to be accessible, he told eWEEK.

iKnow can search more than 100 screens of text for concepts and topics that trend across patient records, said Grabscheid. These areas may include records for smokers or diabetics. The technology can also search for patterns in lab tests, symptoms, diagnoses and treatment.

The iKnow tool could search a population of patients with coronary problems or find patterns in how treatment of asthmatics in the past compares with how a doctor is treating a current asthmatic patient, Grabscheid explained.

"[iKnow] can find key concepts the info contains without a lot of upfront effort to train the system," Grabscheid told eWEEK.

HealthShare is intended to give doctors a full view of a patient's medical picture, said Grabscheid. This data may include lab tests and patients' medication history, he noted.

"What we see now is much more interest in taking all those bits of information about a patient and collecting them and aggregating them into in a medical record that spans the places a patient gets care to understand the full medical picture, and that's really what HealthShare is intended to do," said Grabscheid.

The new version also adds HealthShare Active Analytics technology, which allows doctors to use data-modeling tools to create graphs and charts based on patient health patterns and receive notifications on rules corresponding to patient conditions. Active Analytics collects and aggregates data from multiple care providers.

"The analytics comes with some prebuilt indicators, dashboards and charts that users can take and extend to their hearts' content," said Grabscheid.

Monitoring these indicators could help hospital systems reduce readmissions, according to Grabscheid. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now under review by the Supreme Court, the government could financially penalize hospitals that raise admission rates.

InterSystems powers the HIE platforms for states such as New York, Illinois, Missouri and Rhode Island. Since 2011, the company has also started selling its HIE platform to individual hospitals.

In addition to domestic statewide HIEs, InterSystems' technology is at the foundation of some nationwide platforms in countries such as Denmark and Sweden.

In the HIE databases the software creates, HealthSense can bring interoperability for health records, according to InterSystems.

"Part of the vision we had when we created HealthShare was we needed to be able to get data out of hundreds of other systems customers are using and combine it in a rational way," said Grabscheid.

The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) has formed an organization called the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup along with other states and software vendors to issue specifications for sharing EHRs in compatible formats.

In addition to enabling sharing of EHRs, HealthShare also offers features such as a provider director, terminology engine and clinical-messaging delivery tools.