Symposium on the Meaningful Use of Complex Medical Data Held at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Symposium on the Meaningful Use of Complex Medical Data Held at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Children’s Hospital Los AngelesEllin Kavanagh, 323-361-8505

The Saban Research Institute recently hosted the 3rd annual Meaningful Use of Complex Medical Data (MUCMD) Symposium. Organized by Randall Wetzel, MD, chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, MUCMD is a forum that fosters communication between physicians and “Big Data” experts in order to make use of the large amounts of medical data. By effectively analyzing the continuous output from electronic health records (EHRs), this interdisciplinary team works to develop innovative solutions that improve patient experiences and outcomes.

“We need to bring healthcare into the digital age,” says Wetzel. “We have an abundance of data from every patient, but without the ability to analyze and learn from this information, we cannot adapt to the changing presentations of disease.”

Several innovative clinical applications were shared, including a new technology that allows blood pressure and heart rate to be accurately measured by amplified videos. After increasing the color intensity, the naked eye can see a patient’s face changing from blue to normal and back again as it receives and depletes oxygenated blood. This development will decrease the amount of invasive machinery needed to treat critically ill patients, especially delicate premature infants -- allowing their vital signs to be visually observed.

This year’s speakers included Eric Baldeschwieler from Apache™ Hadoop®; Shahid Shah from Netspective®; Zhiyong Lu, PhD, from the National Institutes of Health; and Paul Clifford, PhD, from iMOSPHERE. In addition, representatives from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Insitute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, University of Southern California and Massachusetts Institute of Technology showcased the capabilities of data-driven healthcare and discussed topics from “Statistical Models of Patient-Doctor Communication” to data integrity.

Audience members were eager to participate throughout the symposium, especially following the presentation by Ben Marlin, PhD, on body sensors and cocaine use. MUCMD attendees conversed with Marlin about his research funding, how to analyze the signs of drug addiction and recovery, as well as his project results. Coffee breaks and long lunches also provided ample discussion time. Hoping to spark creativity, tables with paper easels were set up in the Anita S. Watson Courtyard and attendees were encouraged to collectively develop solutions to posted medical data issues. Ten posters bordered these “solving stations” and initiated further conversation and collaboration. In addition, an interactive session with a panel of clinicians gave participants the opportunity to discuss the direct impact that the presented technologies would have on patient care and direct the field towards its next area of concentration.

“This is absolutely the best conference I have ever been to that addresses machine learning and healthcare clinical data,” said Peter Szolovis, PhD, director of the Biomedical Informatics Training Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It is unique. I look forward to many years of MUCMD.”

To see the full program of MUCMD III, visit:

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious US News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States, is one of America’s premier teaching hospitals and has been affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California since 1932.

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