Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine: Integrating genetic data and patient records in the cloud to personalize care

About Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine

Health Data Compass is a data warehouse maintained by the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. It is funded by and collects patient data from the University, UCHealth hospitals, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the University of Colorado Medicine physicians group.

Industries: Healthcare & Life Sciences
Location: United States

About Tableau Software

Tableau Software produces business intelligence and analytics software that is designed to help users interactively discover and visualize the information in sources ranging from spreadsheets to relational databases to big data.

Google Cloud Platform securely powers the Health Data Compass data warehouse of patient records and genetic data to personalize disease diagnosis and treatment, and to develop new therapies.

Google Cloud Platform Results

  • Faster data queries accelerate research toward new biomedical discoveries
  • Use of Google Cloud Platform reduces costs and frees funds for vital program development
  • Scalable storage grows easily to meet research and clinical demands

Reduced data query times by 97% to enhance care

The Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) helps doctors evaluate patients at the molecular level to predict their individual risk for disease and to develop personalized therapies based on their DNA. Such research requires large-scale analysis of the genetic compositions and health histories of thousands of patients to search for patterns that show how and why people with particular genetic profiles get certain diseases and whether they could benefit from targeted treatments. Securely and quickly integrating this data to make it usable is a significant challenge.

To address the challenge, CCPM utilizes Health Data Compass, an enterprise health data warehouse developed in partnership with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, UCHealth hospitals, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the University of Colorado Medicine (CU Medicine). Health Data Compass integrates genomics data from CCPM, electronic health records from the clinical providers, and external resources including insurance claims, public health data, and environmental data. CCPM plans to add more data sources such as social media and wearable devices to Health Data Compass.

“We take our responsibility to protect patient data very seriously. Google Cloud Platform provides significant advantages in data security over on-premises systems and helps us achieve HIPAA compliance.”

Michael Ames, Associate Director for Health Data Compass and Director of Enterprise Architecture, CCPM

Health Data Compass previously used traditional on-premises technologies to store and analyze data. But that approach proved costly to maintain and couldn’t scale to meet CCPM’s needs. Following a comprehensive six-month pilot project, Health Data Compass migrated to Google Cloud Platform and Tableau Software, which combine to analyze massive data sets and deliver powerful data visualizations. The lower cost and easy scalability are extremely important as CCPM grows. The ability of Google Cloud Platform, including Google BigQuery, to support federal HIPAA compliance was another factor that influenced CCPM’s migration to the cloud.

“We take our responsibility to protect patient data very seriously. Google Cloud Platform provides significant advantages in data security over on-premises systems and helps us achieve HIPAA compliance,” says Michael Ames, Associate Director for Health Data Compass and Director of Enterprise Architecture for CCPM.

Drilling down into data

Health Data Compass uploads data from multiple sources to Google Cloud Storage, which is less expensive and more scalable than Health Data Compass’s onsite storage. From Google Cloud Storage, data is routed to Google Genomics and Google BigQuery, which support a wide range of data analytics.

Google BigQuery provided an unexpected benefit for one of Health Data Compass’s key services: probabilistic record linkage algorithms. Information about patients comes from multiple sources, so Health Data Compass needs to ensure that records aren’t duplicated. For example, it must determine whether a ‘Bobby Peterson’ treated at Children’s Hospital Colorado 45 years ago is the same as ‘Roberta Peterson’ treated recently by a UCHealth physician. Health Data Compass holds records for nearly six million patients, so running such an algorithm requires tremendous processing power. Health Data Compass’s original on-premises infrastructure took 8 hours to complete such a job. With Google BigQuery, it is completed in 15 minutes and at a fraction of the cost.

“Self-service data discovery and visual analytics from Tableau with Google BigQuery will enable researchers and clinicians to use Health Data Compass to quickly identify and understand patterns in genomic data to improve quality, lower costs, and accelerate delivering care for superior patient outcomes. This is the future now.”

Andy De, Managing Director and General Manager for Healthcare and Life Sciences, Tableau Software

CCPM continually develops tools to drill deeper into Health Data Compass data to find answers quickly. It uses Tableau’s self-service visual analytics platform with optimized connectivity to Google BigQuery for live analysis directly against the data in Google BigQuery. Tableau supports role-based dashboards to help clinicians and researchers who are not data scientists get useful insights from the data in a governed and secure data environment. Health Data Compass also deployed its Tableau implementation in the cloud on Google Compute Engine.

“Self-service data discovery and visual analytics from Tableau with Google BigQuery will enable researchers and clinicians to use Health Data Compass to quickly identify and understand patterns in genomic data to improve quality, lower costs, and accelerate delivering care, for superior patient outcomes. This is the future now,” says Andy De, Managing Director and General Manager for Healthcare and Life Sciences, Tableau Software.

“Google Cloud Platform and Tableau provide us with the big data processing and analytics power we need to give researchers tools to improve healthcare for millions of people.”

Michael Ames, Associate Director for Health Data Compass and Director of Enterprise Architecture, CCPM

Faster and better answers at less cost

CCPM successfully completed the pilot of Health Data Compass using Google Cloud Platform and has experienced considerable benefits since going into full production. Analysts can perform queries much faster with Google BigQuery than with the previous solution. As a result, they can iterate alternative data queries with clinicians and researchers to extract complex concepts. In addition, Health Data

Compass has dramatically cut operating costs such as software, hardware, maintenance, and support. “Combining genomics with clinical data and the exploding diversity of other personal data to provide individualized patient care is the frontier of medicine and research,” says Michael. “Google Cloud Platform and Tableau provide us with the big data processing and analytics power we need to give researchers tools to improve healthcare for millions of people.”

About Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine

Health Data Compass is a data warehouse maintained by the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. It is funded by and collects patient data from the University, UCHealth hospitals, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the University of Colorado Medicine physicians group.

Industries: Healthcare & Life Sciences
Location: United States

About Tableau Software

Tableau Software produces business intelligence and analytics software that is designed to help users interactively discover and visualize the information in sources ranging from spreadsheets to relational databases to big data.

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