Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tracking Large Scale Data

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports that HHS has contracted with Archimedes Inc, a company based in San Francisco to use high-powered mathematical analytics in agencies. This contract will put the Archimedes Model at the fingertips of the agencies and enable them to research, analyze, and more effectively evaluate the effects of specific healthcare interventions. The Archimedes Model is a clinically realistic, mathematical model of human physiology, diseases, interventions, and healthcare systems.

Under this contract, HHS will make a new web-based interface called the “Archimedes Healthcare Simulator” (ARCHeS) available to CMS, CDC, AHRQ, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and FDA. To help HHS, the RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio in 2007, provided a $15.6 million grant to support the creation of ARCHeS.

ARCHeS will help the agencies:

·        Analyze prevention activities and management of chronic conditions for patients
·        Design guidelines, performance measures, and incentive program such as P4P
·        Assess technologies and compare the effectiveness of different treatments
·        Design clinical trials
·        Analyze and improve health processes
·        Forecast the costs of healthcare
·        Estimate the cost effectiveness of interventions

For more information, go to or for information on ARCHeS, email David Eddy, MD, PHD at

Also, to further track healthcare data more effectively, HHS within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation has just launched a new web-based tool. The tool is able to track the performance of the healthcare system by enabling the public to view the data by age, income level, ethnicity, plus other factors.

The tool known as the “Health System Measurement Project” enables policymakers, providers, and the public to see consistent data-driven views of changes in critical U.S. health system indicators.

The Measurement Project collects datasets from across the federal government that span topical areas such as access to care, cost and affordability, prevention, and health IT. The data is then presented by population characteristics that include age, sex, income level, insurance coverage, and geography.

The Measurement Project data can be viewed on a given topic from multiple sources, compare trends across measures, and compare national trends with those at the state and regional level. For example, an individual could use the Measurement Project to monitor the percentage of people who have a specific source of ongoing medical care or be able to track avoidable hospitalizations for adults and children by region or ethnic group.

To access the “Health System Measurement Project, go to