Dr. Jeffery Wajda, chief medical information officer at UC Davis, offers his insight into the future of digital data. For more from Wajda, check out “Dr. Robot” in our September issue. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll email you when it’s available online.
What’s the biggest change in your area of focus in the past year?
Clearly, it is the increasing amount of digital data. As we have moved to electronic health records, the absolute amount of data and its potential uses have increased greatly. We expect the trend to continue. For example, investigators from the combined University of California Health System will be enrolling volunteers in a study aimed at determining the best screening approach for breast cancer. This study will involve combining questionnaire data with genome screening. The investigators hope that by combining knowledge from DNA screening with other data, better recommendations for cancer screening will result. The study aims to enroll 100,000 women resulting in very large data sets — helping guide what the investigators learn and the resulting recommendations.
What do you foresee as the biggest change on the horizon in the year to come?
Medical care providers are more focused on identifying illness early, maintaining our healthy populations and increasing the number of therapeutic approaches better tailored to an individual’s needs.
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