DOD to build medical data storage model

The Defense Department and Microsoft Corp. will jointly develop a medical data warehouse prototype and the analytical tools needed to access health data and records for the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) clinical data repository.

The Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, a division of the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, will be the lead DOD program office for the project; Microsoft will direct the research and development. They also will jointly develop the methodology and tools to extract, store and analyze AHLTA data without interrupting the data flow at the repository.

The goal of the agreement is to develop a clinical data warehouse that will work with AHLTA, DOD's massive clinical data repository, without altering its performance.

Under terms of the agreement both sides will contribute their expertise, but no funds are exchanged.

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp. also are involved in the project, providing security, sizing and scalability testing of the architecture.

Microsoft Corp. and its partners are working with data that cannot be personally identified. Any testing with identifiable data will be conducted internally by the DOD.

The prototype will be designed to integrate with AHLTA 24 hours a day and allow authorized AHLTA users to access the system from their desktop or laptop computer.

Population health survey data captured in the warehouse will help spot trends not readily apparent and identify at-risk groups. The automated reports will give DOD health care providers and managers real-time access to quality measures and allow efficient population health surveillance.

AHLTA, with more than 9.1 million health records, is the largest patient health care information system of its kind in the world. The system was completed in December 2006.

David Hubler is an associate editor for Government Computer News' affiliate publication, Washington Technology.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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