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UPMC partners with Microsoft, using clinical analytics to improve care

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 01, 2022
Artificial Intelligence Health IT
UPMC will use clinical analytical tools from Microsoft to identify high-risk patients and take steps to improve their health status and outcomes. (Photo courtesy of UPMC)
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has integrated Microsoft’s cloud computing, AI and machine-learning tools into its clinical analytics operations to adjust care protocols and foster better health outcomes.

Outlined in a five-year agreement, UPMC will use these solutions to mine more than 13 petabytes of structured clinical data and 18 petabytes of imaging data to develop care insights.

Using clinical data to adjust COVID-19 treatments, the hospital reduced in-hospital mortality during the pandemic and is now applying the same concept to other areas, including diabetes mellitus and post-surgical adverse outcomes.

“We’re on a quest to become a true data-driven organization, a ‘learning health system.’ We can do this only if analytics are embedded in everything that we do — from the executive suite to our clinicians at the bedside,” said Dr. Oscar Marroquin, chief healthcare data and analytics officer, in a statement.

During the pandemic, UPMC used clinical and financial data to reduce in-hospital mortality month-to-month. It has replicated these efforts with diabetes mellitus, which is associated with a higher risk for other conditions and adverse outcomes, especially in those with poor control of their disease.

Using historical data from more than 170,000 diabetic patients, the analytics team built a machine-learning model to predict those at highest risk before they reach that point, enabling endocrinologists to offer these patients diabetes educators.

For surgery, the health system developed a predictive model that identifies those at high risk for adverse outcomes within 30 days after procedures, allowing clinicians to implement measures such as weight loss and better chronic disease management to improve their health status prior to surgery. The model runs automatically and was trained on over one million UPMC surgeries.

This has created “not only the desire, but also the expectation, that our analytics program will continue to advance by acquiring more data, to do it faster and to distribute it more seamlessly to our users,” said Chris Carmody, chief technology officer at UPMC. “By partnering with Microsoft, we’ll now have the ability to modernize our processes and technologies to meet those expectations.”

UPMC’s analytics team now uses hourly data feeds to improve quality and support finance and innovations at most of the health system’s 40 hospitals.

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