Revolutionizing Data-Based Health Care Research

PearlDiver Technologies Inc., creator of what is believed to be the largest fully HIPAA-compliant, publicly available and searchable database of patient records in the United States, is using Indiana University's Big Red supercomputer for advanced data analysis.

"We're moving beyond just private-payer data and we're now bringing in Medicare data, so we're going to go from 130 million records to about 500 million records being added this year," said Benjamin Young, president of PearlDiver. "The size of our data is going to expand pretty tremendously, and it takes a lot of computer power to actually organize it in a way that you can ask questions and then get responses back. For example, [if you] go into Medicare and say, ‘What happens to a patient who is 65, has spine fusion and happens to have osteoporosis?' we'll be able to tell you that in a couple seconds." Young explained that with PearlDiver's previous computer capacity this would have taken six to nine months.

PearlDiver's mission is to improve the ways surgeons, product manufacturers, hospitals and regulators connect with and use health care-related information. Big Red's computational power will analyze outcomes from millions of patients to condense findings into information readily available to medical providers and policy makers.

Young explained, "We're looking into the relationship between how much is charged and reimbursed compared to the age, gender and morbidities of the patients, so that we can get a much better idea of health care costs – especially government-paid health care costs –…


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