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Harnessing Public Data Mash-ups for Healthcare

John Mattison (Kaiser Permanente, SCAL), Hulya Emir-Farinas (Pivotal)
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A thriving ecosystem of biomedical researchers and government agencies are actively contributing to a growing collection of datasets ranging from whole genome sequences to farmer’s market locations. The availability of these data presents new opportunities such as enriching our understanding of diseases, identifying adverse events that are not caught in clinical trials, predicting outbreaks, and measuring quality of healthcare delivery at provider level.

However, inconsistent quality and heterogeneity are hallmarks of public data, particularly user-generated content. Thus, there is a need for methods to profile, consolidate, disambiguate, and interlinked the disparate sources. In this talk we discuss the algorithms one could use to clean up, resolve conflicts, and correlate different entities within the information sources through an example that features the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System and SIDER database.

Photo of John Mattison

John Mattison

Kaiser Permanente, SCAL

John is the Chief Medical Information Officer and Assistant Medical Director at Kaiser-Permanente, Southern California. He began his medical career at UC San Diego and Scripps Clinic, where he practiced in diverse clinical settings including emergency services, primary care, critical care, preventive medicine, hyperbaric medicine, trauma and helicopter medicine.

He joined the SCAL region of Kaiser Permanente in 1989, and directed the largest deployment of HealthConnect, Kaiser-Permanente’s revolutionary Health IT program that supports over 3 million lives and is used by over 5,000 physicians in 13 hospitals and 140 clinics. His team completed the project a year ahead of schedule and $260 million under budget. Kaiser Permanente has been awarded with the top HIMSS level 7 designations, and received the prestigious Davies Award in 2012. John has consulted internationally on various Health IT issues.

John has been actively involved in international health data standards and founded the XML work that led to the Clinical Document Architecture and the Continuity of Care Document. He is actively involved in state and federal policy and governance of Health Information Exchange, and has testified before various federal agencies on Health IT policy issues related to privacy and security. He is a member of the California State Privacy Steering Committee.

John continues driving towards better health and wellness through his work with Big Data Analytics, natural language processing, mobile consumer applications, and the use of these tools and genomics to drive truly personalized medicine. In January 2011, John was named as one of the first six to receive the Health Data Management recognition as a “Game Changer” in Health IT for his many contributions to this field.

In his spare time, John enjoys scuba diving, underwater photography, surfing, tennis, growing tomatoes, and most of all time with his family and three dogs.

Photo of Hulya Emir-Farinas

Hulya Emir-Farinas


Hulya Farinas has extensive experience applying algorithmic approaches to complex problems in multiple verticals. Before joining Pivotal, she had held positions at IBM and M-Factor where she helped her customers make optimal business decisions under uncertainty by marrying machine learning algorithms with optimization routines. She is currently a senior principal data scientist at Pivotal where she is the lead for healthcare vertical. She holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the University of Florida.

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