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Walgreens Utilizes Patients’ Data To Predict Diagnoses

The pharmacy company will be supplying its clinics with an analytical system to aide in the treatment of patients.

Sara Roncero-Menendez
Sara Roncero-Menendez on February 5, 2014.

Doctors rely heavily on a patient’s medical history in order to properly diagnose and treat their illness. Missing something crucial, like an allergy or prior incidents, could further worsen a patient’s condition. As Walgreens opens up clinics in locations across the United States, getting a patient’s history can be even more difficult. ePASS is an analytical system that will help doctors ask the right questions and make more informed decisions about their care.

Developed by data analysis company Inovalon, ePASS is not a replacement for clinicians but an aid. Clinicians can see hundreds of patients a day, many of whom only go in when they need real medical attention. ePASS will collect information on their medical history as well as current prescriptions and maladies and use it to help the physician examine patients and ask specific questions. For example, the system will remind the doctor to speak to a diabetic about their kidney health or remind a pregnant woman to avoid specific substances. The system may even prompt the doctor to check for conditions the patient may not know they have yet.

The system can only work properly with a complete medical history, and even then is only meant to guide the clinician, not dictate a diagnosis or treatment. There are some initial concerns about the system have access to private and sensitive information in the wake of major retailers being hacked, something which may deter more than a few patients.

Source: The Washington Post

Image: Greenlumens

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