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GCN : January and February 2017
GCN JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • GCN.COM 7 The Department of Veterans Affairs is working with Flow Health to transform VA data into a knowledge graph that can help medical providers give better care to veterans. Over the next five years, the com- pany will tap into VA’s electronic health records system — the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture — to draw on more than 30 petabytes of longitudinal clinical data from the agency’s 20-plus years of records on 22 million veterans. Lon- gitudinal data looks at the same data points and variables over time and can include structured and unstructured information, such as clinical notes. Flow Health CEO Alex Meshkin said much of the work will involve incor- porating those clinical notes. “That’s probably the largest source of mean- ingful unstructured data,” he added. “It’s using natural language processing to really understand...the physicians’ observations when seeing a veteran.” The company will integrate the data from a variety of VA sources and build a single cloud-based repository of veterans’ health information. After scrubbing any personally identifiable information to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountabil- ity Act’s privacy requirements, Flow Health will seek out relationships in the data by using algorithms and meth- ods for machine and deep learning to classify and cluster the information. “What’s really unique about the VA dataset versus a lot of other private- sector health systems is that they’ve seen these veterans before being diag- nosed with, say, lung cancer, so we’re able to find those patterns and early symptoms,” Meshkin said. “I think that’s going to be one of the really powerful aspects of our data analytics work here.” Furthermore, the knowledge graph will do what humans can’t, he added. “[It] would be impossible to expect a doctor to digest all the history of every patient who’s ever been seen,” he said. “It’s basically the understanding of the aggregate relationships.” The knowledge graph will be avail- able to VA workers via an application programming interface integrated into their workflow. “The idea is [to make] that tight integration back to the [elec- tronic medical records] so they don’t have to start using another interface, which is always very challenging,” Meshkin said. • VA builds knowledge graph of veterans’ health BY STEPHANIE KANOWITZ trendwatch Tech to track in 2017 Here is a list of what’s in and what’s out for government technology this year — according to Alan Shark, executive director of the Public Technology Institute. OUT Cybersecurity as a concern Perimeter-based security Hackers Creating on a screen Virtual and augmented reality Government websites Credit cards Database transactions Data for public consumption Smart software Cloud services Drones for public safety Overwhelmed by email U.S. border control IN Cybersecurity as a crisis Holistic active monitoring and response systems Ransomware Creating through 3-D printers Mixed reality Government apps Bitcoin Blockchain Big data for decision-making Artificial intelligence Managed services Unmanned vehicle systems for civilian uses Overwhelmed by data U.S. digital border control 0217gcn_005-007.indd 7 2/1/17 10:09 AM
October and November 2016