Challenges and Rewards of Working with Health Data
Thursday, September 19, 2019 — 1:45PM - 2:45PM
With the advent of legally-mandated electronic health records (EHRs) in the United States, the rapid increase of available consumer-grade health sensors, and other large-scale health data collection efforts, we have a rich trove of healthcare data that surely contains valuable insights for helping people live happier, healthier lives. However, from patient and provider perspectives, healthcare innovation is coming at a slow pace. Healthcare data is notoriously difficult to work with for a variety of reasons, including technical constraints such as data processing capabilities and difficulties in interchange formats, as well as ethical and legal constraints such as privacy, safety, and equity. In this technical workshop, we explore what a few types of medical data look like ”behind the scenes” and some of the difficulties we’ve encountered in extracting meaningful information for patients and providers, giving examples of why innovation might seem slow. We will also share the rewarding impacts of putting in the hard work to understand and use the data wisely. Additionally, we will provide our audience with some artificially generated, but representative, health data, and challenge them to work together in groups to experience for themselves some of the challenges and rewards that come with working with health data.