Government Database Analyzed And Revealed Risky, Deadly Drug Combinations
A team of researchers set out on a quest to mine big data for potentially deadly drug combinations. The researchers took on a mountain of patient files, prescription orders, clinical measurements, and a government database of drug complaints. Using sophisticated mathematical formulas and algorithms the results revealed interesting patterns and some rather unexpected results.
According to “Can Big Data Help Discover Deadly Drug Combinations?,” posted by Sam Roe and Karisa King, Chicago Tribune, on GovTech.com, scientists have struggled with identifying the risks when Americans take more than one drug at a time. In many cases, the dangers of drug interactions are documented; however, sometimes the risks are hidden from doctors, pharmacists, and drugmakers as well as the patients themselves. Armed with a team of researchers including data scientists, pharmacologists, and cellular researchers from the Colombia University Medical Center, the Chicago Tribune began a new hunt for risky drug combinations. Using algorithms to analyze data within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) complaint archive and electronic hospital patient files, the team mined data looking for information where it wasn’t readily visible. Upon finding signs that drug interactions were possible, they conducted testing to validate suspicions. After two years, the team discovered four drug combinations that could lead to fatal arrhythmia. While additional testing is needed, the new scientific model and innovative data mining effort could provide a new way to protect patient health.
Experts suggest that tens of thousands of people are hospitalized annually due to drug interactions and the risk continues to rise as one in five Americans take three or more drugs. The efforts of the Chicago Tribute research team highlight the potential benefits that big data can offer. Government offices, at all levels, can also benefit from the data that they have if they can access and analyze it. A robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution offers built-in business intelligence features that can highlight information that can be used to improve productivity, financial management, and citizen services.
Just as FDA data was mined to identify deadly drug combinations, municipal data can be mined to reduce crime, prevent wasteful spending, or streamline municipal services. Big data offers great possibilities if it can be harnessed and used. Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions to learn how to use big data to make big improvements.