360FreshLogoThe US healthcare system has spent decades digitizing clinical documentation and records. Now that most of the data generated during a patient visit is capable of being stored in some electronic manner, the next logical question becomes ‘what do we do with this data?’. There are an increasing number of startups recently that attempt to answer that specific question. 360Fresh uses data-mining technology with the same objective.

Believe it or not, a lot of electronic medical record archives today consists of documents in free text format- no structure or organization, just vanilla narrative text. 360Fresh uses their proprietary data-mining logic to extract meaning from that. Generally speaking, I think there is potential for such offerings; especially when presented in a focused manner. For example, a service that identifies high-risk patients in ED or Labor & Delivery patients could be enormously useful for hospitals. And ‘risk’ can go beyond just clinical perspective, like this vendor that focuses on malpractice risk. And if its near real-time data-mining based on output from existing systems, even better.

Of course, ideally we would want  (and expect) such intelligence to be inherent in the multi-million dollar enterprise Healthcare IT systems that hospitals buy to record the data in the first place. But most of them are either distracted by industry fads (like RHIOs or Comparative Effectiveness) or bogged down by existing product support to innovate in this direction.

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