SAMSI's Advances in Precision and Personalized Medicine


I was pleased to be able to spend some time this week with the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI). If you are not familiar with SAMSI, it is a partnership of Duke UniversityNorth Carolina State University (NCSU), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) focused on statistical and mathematical sciences. They held a great conference this week on Advanced in Precision and Personalized Medicine, and I was fortunate to be able to share some of the progress we’ve made at UNC Health Care in unlocking opportunities in data sciences and analytics. It was impressive to see so many people convened together on this topic. I wasn’t able to stay long, but did get the opportunity to see Glen Colopy’s presentation on monitoring for clinical deterioration, which was excellent.

HIMSS 2019

After taking a break for a few years, I was able to attend this year’s annual HIMSS conference. If you were unable to attend, I can sum up the industry trends in two words: interoperability and analytics. I was there for several days, and I never saw a presentation or exhibit that didn’t discuss analytics. It’s quite a contrast from even a few years ago.

The highlight of the event for me this year was being able to accept UNC Health Care’s award for reaching AMAM Stage 7. As one of the first and only organizations to ever reach the top, I could not be more proud of our teams at UNC Health Care. In addition, I was asked to give a talk on “How Practical Big Data Management Can Drive Value in Healthcare” (session BG5 held Monday Feb 11 at 2:30PM). I’ve posted my slides here if you would like to review the talk.

Triangle Health Innovation Challenge


I was delighted to be able to serve as a judge for the 2019 Triangle Health Innovation Challenge (THInC). It is always exciting to see clinicians and students from all different backgrounds collaborating on new ways of looking at health care problems. I was really impressed with several of the pitches I saw. If you are not familiar with the event, WRAL Techwire did a nice story about it. You can also find out more about this annual event at their website

Health Technology Symposium Today

CHIP Conference Ethics Panel.jpeg

I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in today’s Health Technology Symposium: Health Ethics at the Intersection of Data and Technology being orchestrated by the Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP). If you are not familiar with CHIP, you should be — it is a very unique interdisciplinary research and training program focusing on health informatics research, data sharing, development, and education. The program draws faculty, health care professionals, and students from across the UNC campus to conduct basic and translational research and to offer graduate training in health informatics for scientists across the disciplines and for clinicians in medicine, nursing, public health, dentistry, and pharmacy. I’m fortunate to be able to serve on their Health IT Advisory Board, and always enjoy hearing about the tremendous work they do. See their Twitter feed for examples of their activities.

Sharing Models of Health Analytics Success

I’m honored to have been asked by HIMSS to share some of the models for success in developing health analytics capabilities at next week’s HIMSS Big Data & Healthcare Analytics Forum in Boston, MA. As I shared in my last post, UNC Health Care is one of the first and only organizations to achieve Stage 7, the highest level of analytical capability development, as assessed by the HIMSS Analytics International Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity (AMAM). Along with Philip Bradley, regional director of North America for HIMSS Analytics, we will be talking about some of the competencies that are associated with these advanced stages of maturity. I hope you can join us!

Enterprise Capability Development for Health Analytics


I was asked by the folks at Corinium Global Intelligence to give a keynote address and participate in a discussion panel at their Chief Data and Analytics Officer Winter Event. It was a great opportunity to provide a little more context behind our strategy of shifting from a project to capability-based approach to analytics application. I tried to weave in a few case studies just so people could see how some of this is actually applied as well.

It was interesting to note the commonalities that are emerging between health care and other industries as it attempts to develop these new business capabilities. Though healthcare’s understanding of how to develop and operate advanced analytics “at scale” is immature compared to, for example, it’s competencies around descriptive statistics in areas like quality measures, the market is evolving rapidly.

Corinium was kind enough to post a copy of the slides to LinkedIn, so I thought I would share the presentation with you as well.

My Trip to Shanghai

I was delighted to be invited to PharmaSUG China’s annual conference to deliver a keynote address on the state of health analytics. It was an amazing trip!
During my visit, I had an opportunity to meet with some executives of one of Shanghai’s largest health delivery systems. Speaking through interpreters, we discussed how the use of advanced analytics can help transform the quality and cost of care. One of the most significant contrasts I noticed between this discussion and others I’ve participated in was the marked lack of focus on financial analytics. Because China’s health care system is government funded, hospital systems are less driven to focus their time and energy on issues like reimbursement — a major driver of costs here in the US for both hospital systems (who are forced to employ armies of reimbursement experts to get paid for the patient services they deliver) and the patients (who can face anything from rising co-pays to bankruptcies due to escalating health care costs). The entire focus of our conversation was how to help patients get better health outcomes.

The Road to High Performance Medicine

Medical Informatics World asked me to deliver a keynote address on how analytics are evolving within the health and life sciences markets. They were nice enough to record the talk and post it to YouTube, so I’ve provided the link here. If you’d like to see the slides and hear the accompanying talk track in more detail, I’ve posted a slide recording to YouTube as well. The basic question I’m intending to address is whether medicine truly become a performance-driven industry.? The complexity residing at the intersection between the science of medicine, the delivery of health care services, and natural patient variation has made it difficult to scale organizational performance beyond the effectiveness of individual contributors. Yet other fields such as space exploration, battlefield operations, meteorology, financial services, and automotive racing have demonstrated that comparably complex systems can be characterized and even managed to very high levels of performance. By adopting similar capabilities in the context of population health, accountable care, and personalized medicine, my premise is that health and life sciences organizations can unlock a new era of clinical, financial, and operational high performance.

I also delivered a separate talk on enterprise architecture, which I will post separately later.  And I got the opportunity to share the stage with some of my favorite industry speakers during two panel discussions.

Medical Informatics World 2015 Final Panel. From left: Eric Glazer, Gowtham Rao, John Halamka, Stephen Warren, Jason Burke, and J.D. Whitlock. Image courtesy of Cambridge Healthtech Institute.

Medical Informatics World 2015 Final Panel. From left: Eric Glazer, Gowtham Rao, John Halamka, Stephen Warren, Jason Burke, and J.D. Whitlock. Image courtesy of Cambridge Healthtech Institute.

My Health Analytics Symposium Talk

This past summer, I was fortunate enough to be asked to deliver one of the keynote addresses at the first Health Analytics Symposium conference.  Afterwards, a number of people asked for copies of my materials, which I’m fine to provide except no one ever knows what I said around each slide, and the slides themselves are far from self-explanatory.  So I managed to get a partial recording of my presentation, and have posted it here for those that might be interested.  Note that some of this content will be in my upcoming book on health analytics. More on that later.