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The data platform helps to build the profile of the MS patient

Data analysis is becoming increasingly important to make faster diagnoses, carry out more effective interventions or implement tailor-made treatments. According to neurologist Eva Strijbos, to better help MS patients, patient profiles can be developed with the help of a special data platform and dashboard, so that more personalized care becomes possible.

Data analytics works

Examples of recent successful data analyzes in the healthcare sector show that Strijbos’ mission is promising. Recently, for example, heart surgeons at Catharina Hospital discovered thanks to smart data analysis surprising trends. As a result, among other things, when the aortic valve is replaced via a catheter, the procedure-related mortality in the heart center of Catharina Hospital decreases much more than in other heart centers in the Netherlands.

The gist is that in patients with the same condition, the course of the disease can be very different in practice, so they can benefit from a more personalized treatment. In practice, this will only work if enough data is available and can be properly analysed.

Single data platform with dashboard

In MS patients, every patient is completely different. “MS is an uncertain disease,” he explains neurologist Eva Strijbos out. “For some, the disease is very serious and aggressive treatment is needed. In the other, the disease appears milder. It is not yet known exactly how this happens. Every MS patient therefore receives the same treatment for the time being, but for some the treatment is then unnecessarily intense. New research with lots of data can change that.”

Strijbos has developed a unique data platform and dashboard for the MS Center to conduct good research with MS patient data. Contains digital data in a clear overview, for example in the form of graphs. The dashboard is connected to the EPD. Contains all patient data available at the MS Center over the last twenty years. It involves various data, ranging from checkup appointments and medications to blood results. Strijbos: “In this way, the concrete figures are directly linked to the experiences of the patients. This gives an even better picture. Because a scan can show someone is fine. But if someone isn’t feeling well…” Before the data is entered into the dashboard, the patient must first give permission.

Patient profiles

For the time being, all of this data mostly helps answer simple questions like the question “how often is a particular medicine prescribed.” The ultimate goal is to use all that data on the data platform for long-term research. Strijbos: “Soon we will be able to create so-called patient profiles through data analysis.” By comparing patient characteristics, for example, one can discover how patients with these characteristics respond to certain treatments. If a patient fits into a certain profile, treatment can be fine-tuned there. Since the blood samples are also connected to the dashboard, it is possible to see what differences there are in the patients’ blood. “This way, we may soon be able to see what profile someone has when taking a blood sample. And then choose the treatment that suits you best at a very early stage!

This is good news, but the necessary research is still needed to make all of this happen. In support of this research, the ‘The power of data’ project was recently launched. Hopefully, the MS Center hopes to be able to offer MS patients targeted care by 2030.

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