Sutter, Geisinger team with IBM to study heart failure prediction

Healthcare giants Sutter Health and Geisinger Health System are teaming up with IBM research to study heart failure prediction thanks to a $2 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health.

According to an announcement, the funds will be used to develop cost-efficient early-detection methods to be used at primary care practices with an electronic health record system. The research aims to:

  • Create a deeper understanding of how to use the data contained within EHRs and advanced analytics to help detect heart failure earlier.
  • Identify best practices that help health systems nationwide integrate big data analytics into primary care. This will help providers and caregivers use evidence-based insights to better partner with patients and identify more personalized treatment options.

Using EHR data for an expansive view of a patient's health history--with information like demographics, medical history, allergies, lab results, etc.--can help physicians identify a patient's risk of heart failure. Patterns and signals can lead to physician monitoring and urging for lifestyle changes.

"The NIH funding allows the team to look deeper into the progression of factors that are predictors of heart failure so clinicians can implement timely care-management plans to improve health outcomes," the announcement states.

A public relations manager for Sutter Health confirmed to FierceHealthIT in an email that the funds for the project had already been received, meaning the lingering government shutdown will not deter the initiative. At the start of the shutdown, NIH, Director Francis Collins said that about 200 patients who otherwise would have been admitted to the NIH Clinical Center for clinical trials each week would need to be turned away; by last Thursday, however, NIH had recalled a small number of furloughed employees to reopen its clinical trials registration website.

Just prior to the shutdown, NIH also announced $31.5 million in grant funding for the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAIs), funded by the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The purpose of the centers is to target technologies "to improve the diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders and diseases."

To learn more:
- read the announcement