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Leveraging Big Data to Inform Cardiovascular Healthcare Outcomes

Associate Professor Isuru Ranasinghe, Institution: The University of Queensland

2016 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2017-2021


In Australia, over 500,000 cardiovascular hospitalisations occur annually, consuming 40% of the direct costs of cardiovascular care. Of concern, my research and those of others continue to show marked deficiencies in care and suboptimal patient outcomes, suggesting that the evidence is inconsistently and heterogeneously applied among hospitals. In this context, monitoring important end results of care are fundamental to understand and improve hospital care quality. However, we currently lack affordable methods to assess even basic clinical outcomes that reflect care quality broadly across hospitals. Indeed, the NHMRC Transitional Faculty for Cardiovascular Disease identified measurement of clinical outcomes as the singular most important intervention needed in Australia to reduce the evidence-practice gap.

My research strategy is to leverage large-scale, routinely collected, state-wide hospital datasets and advanced ‘Big Data’ analytical methods to address this knowledge gap. Towards this goal, I have assembled data from 6 Australian states representing ~90% of the Australian population. Using this data, I seek to generate new knowledge of variation in health outcomes and to develop affordable and implementable methods to routinely monitor variation cardiovascular care quality among hospitals. Moreover, I seek to develop advanced analytical methods for prediction and automated surveillance of adverse outcomes which may strength our efforts to improve patient care.

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