Emily Singer of MIT's Technology Review says the $20 billion in the stimulus bill allocated to helping doctors and hospitals adopt electronic medical records also has researchers "excited about the possibilities" of using those records for scientific study. Singer says doctors and researchers are looking through the vast amounts of data to figure out how to use it to answer various questions in medicine, "such as why patients can respond so variably to treatment, and how genetics or other factors might contribute to this." Researchers have had to invent new analytical methods to make sense of the data and ensure that results aren't biased, Singer writes. Dan Roden, a clinical pharmacologist at Vanderbilt University, has launched a pilot program linking medical records to genomics databases, according to Singer, starting with basic questions as to what informatics challenges could arise and the ethical quandaries of storing patients' information.
Electronic Medical Records Present More Options for Genomics Research
Apr 08, 2010