University of Washington to Use Microsoft Amalga to Support Clinical and Translational Research

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 General News
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SEATTLE and REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 30 TheUniversity of Washington (UW) will use Microsoft Amalga, the unifiedintelligence system, in a research protocol designed to provide clinical andtranslational researchers with faster and more complete access than theypreviously had to electronic data stored on disparate systems within theuniversity. UW's Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS),, intends to use Microsoft Amalga to accelerate and improvetranslational research, which takes medical discoveries from the laboratoryinto the clinic and out into the community.


Microsoft Amalga addresses a common and critical challenge of healthcareproviders by integrating vast amounts of clinical, administrative andfinancial 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 takesadvantage of health enterprises' investments in existing health IT solutionsand makes it possible for the entire organization to gain quick access to dataand turn that information into critical knowledge that facilitates betterdecision-making and improved patient outcomes.

In the UW's complex academic systems, gaining access to aggregate views ofdata is time- and labor-intensive and hinders translational research with longlags between the time a researcher has a need for a particular data set andwhen access to the data set is provided.

Microsoft Amalga is designed to provide ITHS researchers with the abilityto comprehensively access, search and perform analysis on data stored in UWmedical record systems, UW research laboratory systems and study datamanagement systems. For example, subject to institutional review board andHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations,researchers will be able to quickly assess whether the UW patient populationhas the numbers to support a study testing a particular hypothesis or if thereare new patients eligible for recruitment into a trial. Microsoft Amalga alsowill enable researchers to prospectively collect study-specific data that isnot in the university's electronic medical record (EMR), collect biologicalresearch specimens for the study and link them to the study or patient --under approved research studies with appropriate consent -- and generatereports appropriate for biostatistical analyses.

"We're excited to collaborate with Microsoft in utilizing Amalga, a newtechnology that opens up access to critical data currently stored in disparatesystems, to help improve translational research," said Dr. Peter Tarczy-Hornoch, division head, Division of Biomedical and Health Informatics at theUniversity of Washington. "The Amalga tool will improve the ability of ITHS toprovide our researchers with access to all of the data they need when theyneed it, allowing them to conduct their work faster and more effectively."

"We are very pleased to support the technology needs required for theimportant work being led by one of the leading research institutions in thecountry," said Steve Shihadeh, vice president, Microsoft Health SolutionsGroup. "We anticipate ITHS will gain significant value by using Amalga toaggregate and present information that is vital to its initiatives intranslational research."

Microsoft Amalga is in use at other renowned U.S. healthcare institutions,including District of Columbia Primary Care Association, NewYork-PresbyterianHospital, Johns Hopkins Health System, Novant Health, H. Lee Moffitt CancerCenter & Research Institute, St. Joseph Health System and the Wisconsin HealthInformation Exchange.

About University of Washington

The University of Washington is one of the nation's leading recipients offederal research and training awards. The National Science Foundation in 2005placed the University of Washington second overall in the nation and firstamong public institutions in receipt of federal funds for science andengineering. The University has ranked among the top five federally fundedresearch institutions since 1974.

The ITHS is funded in part by the NIH Clinical and Translational ScienceAward (CTSA) and comprises the University of Washington (UW), Children'sHospital Regional Medical Center, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.The goal of the ITHS is to make a positive impact on human health locally andglobally through collaboration with academia, industry, nonprofit agencies,government, and local communities. As a member of the CTSA Consortium, theITHS will work with 60 other select academic medical centers of excellence totransform how clinical and translational research is conducted and enableresearchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly topatients.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader insoftware, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize theirfull potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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