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University of Leicester and Cerner in new research partnership

19 July 2016

Partnership aims to improve patient outcomes and community health 

  

“We believe we can improve care and outcomes through intelligent integration of environmental data into the healthcare decision making process” – Dr Joshua Vande Hey, University of Leicester

The University of Leicester is partnering with Cerner, a global health informatics service provider, to understand how the integration of environmental data into a Population Health management system can help improve patient outcomes and communities’ health.

Healthcare systems worldwide are under increasing pressure to provide better, faster care to a growing population. To answer some of these demands, a revolution in healthcare diagnosis, delivery and forecasting is currently taking place, enabled by the availability of new technology.

Population health management is an approach to health data integration, analysis, reporting and communications which involves the measuring and reporting of health outcomes both retrospectively and in near-real time. Cerner offers its Population Health service globally, this platform allows healthcare organisations to better understand their population, engage with providers and patients, and improve the health of their community.

However, to date, little has been done to integrate environmental data into Population Health systems to understand the impact of environmental factors on health, most likely because specialised joint expertise in health and environmental informatics is needed for implementation.

By partnering, the University of Leicester and Cerner will insure that experts from key areas of health sciences, environmental sciences and informatics are working together in order to improve patients care.

University of Leicester and Cerner have the same ambition to close the gap between the environment sector and what is delivered in health care practice. This partnership will ultimately focus on improving patients’ experience.

On a system level, by incorporating near-real time weather and air pollution data into these systems, care for asthma and arthritis patients, for example, could be optimized, and demands on health care systems forecast to reduce costs. At a personal level, the caregiver can have at his or her fingertips recent and forecast weather and air pollution information and provide advice directly to the patient.

Joshua Vande Hey, PI of the project and air pollution researcher at the University of Leicester, said: “As environmental scientists in Leicester, we are keen to put our scientific knowledge to work for societal benefit. We have access to and experience with a broad range of local, national and global air pollution and weather data sets which can be applied to a variety of applications including health. Particularly in environmentally sensitive health areas such as severe asthma, we believe we can improve care and outcomes through intelligent integration of environmental data into the healthcare decision making process. 

“When I learned of Cerner’s population health management system and analytics platform, I felt strongly that integration into this kind of approach could be one of the best opportunities for environmental data to make a positive impact on human health. I am enthusiastic about kick-off of this pilot project and a new collaboration with Cerner, and I look forward to building the foundation for an innovative, beneficial approach to healthcare.”

Geoff Segal, General Manager, Cerner Limited said: “Partnering with the University of Leicester is a fantastic opportunity to combine the University of Leicester’s deep knowledge of environmental data and Cerner’s leading population health management system to accelerate the impact of research on the delivery of care. With this partnership, we focus on the art of the possible and how far a population health management system can go to truly manage all aspects of citizens’ health.”

The Environmental Population Health Informatics (EPHI) project pilot, funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will consist of two parts, the first will demonstrate how near-real time environmental data on short-term timescales relevant to human health can be incorporated into Cerner's Population Health management system. The second part is a market assessment to be conducted by a health informatics consultancy to identify which health areas can benefit most from incorporation of environmental data.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Maggy Heintz on mh387@leicester.ac.uk  

About University of Leicester:

The University of Leicester is led by discovery and innovation – an international centre for excellence renowned for research, teaching and broadening access to higher education. The University of Leicester is ranked among the top one per cent of universities in the world by the THE World University Rankings and also among the top 100 leading international universities in the world. It is among the top 25 universities in the Times Higher Education REF Research Power rankings with 75% of research adjudged to be internationally excellent with wide-ranging impacts on society, health, culture, and the environment.

Find out more: https://le.ac.uk/about-us

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  • By: Cerner, 19 July 2016
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