Analytics & electronic medical records can support breakthroughs in university medical research

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I was recently interviewed for an article about the use of analytics in medical research at colleges and universities. It’s not surprising this topic is gaining attention. As a result of Meaningful Use, the ongoing digitization of medical records has created unprecedented opportunities for university researchers to make breakthroughs in preventative medicine, drug efficacy and safety, and better patient outcomes.


Research at institutions of higher education is critical to advances in medicine, and SAS has been a valuable tool in those efforts for decades. For example, Duke University’s Cancer Institute is studying patient side effects from colon cancer treatment.


Using mobile device-enabled software to enter data, physicians can ask colon cancer patients about the side effects and symptoms they experience and record their responses. This direct patient interaction provides robust data, which can supplement the information from large patient data registries. With analytics from SAS, they can analyze all their data to better manage and anticipate adverse patient effects caused by different cancer treatments.


As more and more medical data is digitized, more challenging questions can be asked. Clinicians and researchers will want to go beyond summary statistics and traditional analytics and use more sophisticated analyses. As the data volume explodes and the complexity of analyses grows, new methods and architectures will need to be applied to solve complex problems in a timely manner. SAS is leading the industry with technology for High Performance Analytics (HPA), including cost-effective ways to implement that technology.



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