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Practice Fusion Promises Medical "Insight" With New Big Data Tool

The clinical database will enable analysis of some 81 million de-identified patient records.

Shutterstock / Radu Bercan

Practice Fusion, a fast-growing electronic medical records company, is launching a clinical database that promises to help physicians, researchers and drug makers spot unfolding health trends.

The free service, Insight, allows the analysis of anonymized portions of some 81 million patient records, potentially providing early signs of seasonal disease outbreaks, shifts in chronic conditions, diagnoses trends for certain patient populations and more.

“Insight unleashes powerful, de-identified health data from tens of millions of real patients and more than 2,000 drug therapies in real time, at no cost,” said Ryan Howard, founder and chief executive of Practice Fusion, in a statement.

The San Francisco company also announced a paid version of the tool offering more detailed analysis, including the market share of drugs within certain subpopulations.

This sort of information has traditionally been locked down as proprietary corporate data, licensed at great expense or siloed off in the filing cabinets of individual physicians. That has severely limited the ability to draw insights from the de facto longitudinal studies being carried out every day in doctors’ offices and hospitals around the country.

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