SEATTLE and REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 30, 2008 — The University of Washington (UW) will use Microsoft Amalga, the unified intelligence system, in a research protocol designed to provide clinical and translational researchers with faster and more complete access than they previously had to electronic data stored on disparate systems within the university. UW’s Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS), http://www.iths.org, intends to use Microsoft Amalga to accelerate and improve translational research, which takes medical discoveries from the laboratory into the clinic and out into the community.
Microsoft Amalga addresses a common and critical challenge of healthcare providers by integrating vast amounts of clinical, administrative and financial information that flows in and out of disparate information systems, and tailoring that information for use by researchers, physicians, analysts, laboratory technicians, nurses and administrators. Microsoft Amalga takes advantage of health enterprises’ investments in existing health IT solutions and makes it possible for the entire organization to gain quick access to data and turn that information into critical knowledge that facilitates better decision-making and improved patient outcomes.
In the UW’s complex academic systems, gaining access to aggregate views of data is time- and labor-intensive and hinders translational research with long lags between the time a researcher has a need for a particular data set and when access to the data set is provided.
Microsoft Amalga is designed to provide ITHS researchers with the ability to comprehensively access, search and perform analysis on data stored in UW medical record systems, UW research laboratory systems and study data management systems. For example, subject to institutional review board and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, researchers will be able to quickly assess whether the UW patient population has the numbers to support a study testing a particular hypothesis or if there are new patients eligible for recruitment into a trial. Microsoft Amalga also will enable researchers to prospectively collect study-specific data that is not in the university’s electronic medical record (EMR), collect biological research specimens for the study and link them to the study or patient — under approved research studies with appropriate consent — and generate reports appropriate for biostatistical analyses.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Microsoft in utilizing Amalga, a new technology that opens up access to critical data currently stored in disparate systems, to help improve translational research,” said Dr. Peter Tarczy-Hornoch, division head, Division of Biomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Washington. “The Amalga tool will improve the ability of ITHS to provide our researchers with access to all of the data they need when they need it, allowing them to conduct their work faster and more effectively.”
“We are very pleased to support the technology needs required for the important work being led by one of the leading research institutions in the country,” said Steve Shihadeh, vice president, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “We anticipate ITHS will gain significant value by using Amalga to aggregate and present information that is vital to its initiatives in translational research.”
Microsoft Amalga is in use at other renowned U.S. healthcare institutions, including District of Columbia Primary Care Association, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Johns Hopkins Health System, Novant Health, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, St. Joseph Health System and the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange.
About University of Washington
The University of Washington is one of the nation’s leading recipients of federal research and training awards. The National Science Foundation in 2005 placed the University of Washington second overall in the nation and first among public institutions in receipt of federal funds for science and engineering. The University has ranked among the top five federally funded research institutions since 1974.
The ITHS is funded in part by the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) and comprises the University of Washington (UW), Children’s Hospital Regional Medical Center, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The goal of the ITHS is to make a positive impact on human health locally and globally through collaboration with academia, industry, nonprofit agencies, government, and local communities. As a member of the CTSA Consortium, the ITHS will work with 60 other select academic medical centers of excellence to transform how clinical and translational research is conducted and enable researchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly to patients.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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