Data analytics: Extracting the signal from the noise

By 2020, medical knowledge will double every 73 days. Can innovative technologies like machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) analyze and curate all that knowledge to help clinicians drowning in information? In this episode, Dr. John Cromwell with the University of Iowa discusses the promise of these technologies to analyze vast amounts of data and “extract the signal from the noise.” He describes his institution’s efforts to reduce postoperative surgical site infections and improve patient outcomes by bringing machine learning to the frontlines of medicine.

“Eventually we were able to apply machine learning in the operating room and gather data in real time… We learned that if we used this information and used wound care strategies in a very selective way, ultimately, we were able to reduce the risk of surgical site infections by about 74 percent.”
— Dr. John Cromwell


Podcast Episode Transcript

Elisabeth Poorman, MD. Staying Current in Medicine: Advice for New Doctors, New England Journal of Medicine. November 10, 2016.