Philips to provide data on 100,000+ ICU patients to researchers via collaboration with MIT

The movement to make healthcare Big Data open and available to researchers had a great week. Philips ($PHG) announced that it will share anonymized data on more than 100,000 patients collected via its Hospital to Home eICU telehealth initiative with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The move comes on the heels of a similar data-sharing collaboration between fellow industry and academia bigwigs Yale and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ).

The patients in its eICU centers represent about 10% of all adult intensive care unit beds in the U.S. The database will include information about vital signs, pharmacy medication orders, laboratory results, diagnoses and severity of illness scores, according to the release.

Philips says the data will be available on the free online database PhysioNet before the end of the year.

The company's eICU initiative deploys health information technology to shorten the length of stays and decrease ICU mortality. The associated eICU Research Institute aggregates "data collected across the entire customer base to analyze Program effectiveness and provide benchmark reports on clinical best practices," according to its website, which says the database contains information on more than 1.5 million patient stays.

The collaboration calls for MIT's Laboratory of Computational Physiology to provide and maintain access to the data. "The quality and resolution of the data Philips has been collecting in the critical care domain is unprecedented. This kind of access will provide researchers with data that will enable investigations otherwise unimaginable," said Dr. Leo Celi, of the Harvard-MIT program in health sciences and technology, in the release.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson announced yesterday that it will allow investigators access to its clinical trial data related to medical devices, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals via the Yale University Open Data Access (YODA) Project, which will manage investigator requests and facilitate access to the data.

Medtronic ($MDT) previously partnered with YODA on more limited basis in an effort to clear up controversy regarding its Infuse bone formation device. But in 2013, researchers used the data to determine that the device provides little to no benefits compared to competitors.

In another data sharing-collaboration, consumer-oriented genetic testing company 23andMe recently announced that it is selling parts of its database to Pfizer ($PFE) for an undisclosed amount and Genentech for $60 million.

Even the government has got in on the open data movement. Under rules proposed late last year by the National Institutes of Health, the makers of unapproved drugs and devices would have to post summaries of study results on, the government's public portal, within a year of trial conclusion.

- read the release

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