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Harvard Medical School Faculty Advances Drug Safety Research With IBM Business Analytics
Date:5/3/2011

ARMONK, N.Y., May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that faculty from Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital will use IBM business analytics technology at the core of new research that examines the effectiveness of prescription drugs and spots potential safety issues.

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Harvard Medical research teams are conducting advanced pharmacoepidemiology studies that look at the effects of drugs in large numbers of people based on insurance claims data. Using an IBM Netezza data warehouse appliance, the research teams will expand its studies to analyze data from millions of de-identified patient records with the aim to develop new data-intensive drug safety research methods.

Pharmacoepidemiology research is designed to answer important questions such as which anti-inflammatory drugs carry a risk of heart attack, what osteoporosis medications are most often used with good results, or how cost-effective are some drugs in treating mental health disorders.

"We wanted a computing platform with massive analytics power, but was extremely simple to administer," said Dr. Sebastian Schneeweiss, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Vice Chief of the Brigham & Women's Hospital Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics. "As global healthcare evolves toward a learning healthcare system with a need for ongoing comparative effectiveness and safety research integrated in routine care, it is imperative that research methods evolve in parallel. IBM Netezza will accelerate our ability to devise, test and publish new computationally intensive algorithms applied to ever larger longitudinal healthcare databases that we hope will become the gold standard for researchers globally."

Dr. Schneeweiss is the principal investigator of the AHRQ-funded DEcIDE Methods Center and Co-Chair of th
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