Big Data technologies to reduce morbidity and mortality in Chronic Diseases and Conditions


Big Data technologies to reduce morbidity and mortality in Chronic Diseases and Conditions

30 April, 2019

The increase of frequency of events such as hospitalization and mortality is influenced by the presence of two or more Chronic Diseases and Conditions (CDCs). In fact, CDCs are the major cause of morbidity and mortality in Europe representing the 86 % of all deaths, and account for more than 75 % of the healthcare burden in Europe and cost the economy 700 billion euros per year.

The prognosis is not encouraging. The number of CDCs that occur simultaneously in individuals rise with ageing. Taking into account that the ratio of people aged 65 or above is projected to increase from 19% in 2016 to 29% in the next 50 years according to the European Commission, CDCs have become an important issue for the EU.

Comorbidities, defined by the World Health Organization as the presence of one or more additional diseases or disorders occurring concomitantly with a primary disease or disorder, is the name of the pilot led by INCLIVA within the BigMedilytics project. This pilot aims to reduce admissions to secondary care by redirecting low-risk patients to primary care and high-risk patients to secondary care thus reducing highly expensive emergency care and hospitalizations.

Currently, decisions made by physicians are those that they consider the most appropriate but these decisions are not necessarily the best. In order to apply the most suitable medical care, we need to improve the stratification of the risk of the patients. But how can we achieve this?

The pilot comprises a retrospective part where clustering and risk prediction algorithms are being used to analyse the primary and secondary care health records of 4 million patients. The use of big data technologies allows to characterise the disease trajectories and care pathways of this large patient population. As a consequence, new unknown links that might exist between different disease groups such as heart failure or diabetes can be unravelled.

The result of this phase will be the creation of a software that evaluates the risk in order to help healthcare providers decide whether a patient should be referred to secondary care. This tool will be validated in a prospective phase.

The pilot Comorbidities is part of the first theme Population Health and Chronic Disease Management tackled by the BigMedilytics project. The organisations INCLIVA, Atos, ITI, Optimedis, Philips and Eindhoven University of Technology participate in this pilot.