UCHealth forms lab to develop innovative medical technologies

UCHealth Applied Decision Science Lab uses artificial intelligence, big data and best practices to make breakthroughs in efficiency, outcomes and cost reduction
June 14, 2017

UCHealth is now collaborating with industry innovators and startups within a virtual lab to research and develop emerging health care technologies. The UCHealth CARE Innovation Center’s new Applied Decision Science Lab will focus on developing more effective ways to use decision support science to reduce clinical variation, streamline provider workflows, enhance clinician decision making and improve overall patient care.

The UCHealth CARE Innovation Center brings together experts in clinical care delivery, informatics analytics, process, quality, outcomes and implementation science to partner with industry to create innovative solutions to modern health care challenges. The ADSL focuses on using established best practices, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop ways to dynamically inform clinicians in their electronic health record-based clinical workflows, including:

  • Supporting clinicians in utilizing the best and most current evidence-based standards through rules-based algorithms.
    Developing methods to effectively utilize learning-based algorithms (AI and machine learning) to integrate into decision support technologies.
  • Improving the provider experience and reducing clinician burnout from difficult-to-use technology.
  • Helping other industry stakeholders understand how clinical decision support technology will change clinician behavior at the point of care.

“We as health care providers are overwhelmed with data on how best to treat patients, and it’s only getting more acute. No human can possibly ingest, retain and apply this volume of data on an ongoing basis,” said Dr. Richard Zane, UCHealth chief innovation officer and professor and chair of emergency medicine at the CU School of Medicine. “Making this data actionable in the real-world clinical workflow is incredibly challenging. We must focus on the point of care application of all this data as well as the emerging use of artificial intelligence. Unless this is done in ways clinicians will embrace and use, the knowledge is wasted.”

Richard Zane, MD, UCHealth’s chief innovation officer and professor and chair of emergency medicine at the CU School of Medicine.
Richard Zane, MD, UCHealth’s chief innovation officer and professor and chair of emergency medicine at the CU School of Medicine.

The ADSL has already made breakthroughs in improving clinician adoption of decision support technology while eliminating unwanted and commonly ignored alerts that lead to “alert fatigue,” as widely documented. One example includes UCHealth’s work with Silicon Valley startup LeanTaaS to apply data science and predictive analytics to health care operations – resulting in improved efficiencies in OR utilization and a significant reduction in wait times and increased capacity at infusion centers.

Another success is UCHealth’s partnership with digital health company RxRevu. Their technology integrates directly with the EHR to provide critical prescription information to providers within the clinical workflow.

As the volume of big data from multiple sources becomes available to inform health care practices, providers are increasingly challenged to ingest all of this information to personalize care for each patient. As an innovation incubator, the ADSL examines how to make this complex data easy to use by clinicians, driving lower costs and better outcomes for patients. Clinical decision support technology will also be the required infrastructure to effectively apply AI and machine learning in the clinical workflow in the future.

“The ADSL is focused on how to make decision support technology easily used by clinicians,” said Dr. Jennifer Wiler, founder and director of the UCHealth CARE Innovation Center. “Our lab’s ability to quickly iterate and test these workflows and see if they actually improve clinician adoption of these standards is unique. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with industry to realize the promise of these technologies.”

The ADSL is one of the first labs of its kind at a major academic medical center and will be at the forefront of how AI will change medical care.

About the UCHealth CARE Innovation Center

The CARE Innovation Center at UCHealth offers a comprehensive suite of resources and services designed to revolutionize healthcare with leading industry and startup partners. By combining the intellectual assets of the University of Colorado faculty and the clinical laboratory at UCHealth, the CARE Innovation Center is focused on developing, testing, implementing, and spinning out the next generation of digital technology and decision support science. The CARE Innovation Center team includes physician informaticists, engineers and data scientists working with clinicians who have unparalleled expertise in clinical care delivery, process improvement, implementation science, clinical informatics, and predictive analytics: a world-class team at the forefront of improving the way healthcare is being delivered.