ENTRIES TAGGED "reputation"

Data sharing drives diagnoses and cures, if we can get there (part 2)

How the field of genetics is using data within research and to evaluate researchers

Editor’s note: Earlier this week, Part 1 of this article described Sage Bionetworks, a recent Congress they held, and their way of promoting data sharing through a challenge.

Data sharing is not an unfamiliar practice in genetics. Plenty of cell lines and other data stores are publicly available from such places as the TCGA data set from the National Cancer Institute, Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), and Array Expression (all of which can be accessed through Synapse). So to some extent the current revolution in sharing lies not in the data itself but in critical related areas.

First, many of the data sets are weakened by metadata problems. A Sage programmer told me that the famous TCGA set is enormous but poorly curated. For instance, different data sets in TCGA may refer to the same drug by different names, generic versus brand name. Provenance–a clear description of how the data was collected and prepared for use–is also weak in TCGA.

In contrast, GEO records tend to contain good provenance information (see an example), but only as free-form text, which presents the same barriers to searching and aggregation as free-form text in medical records. Synapse is developing a structured format for presenting provenance based on the W3C’s PROV standard. One researcher told me this was the most promising contribution of Synapse toward the shared used of genetic information.

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Doctors rate doctors in HealthTap’s medical quality project

Physician/patient knowledge sharing site branches out into quality measures

HealthTap, a network of physicians and patients, routinely breaks new ground and tries bold experiments in the area of generating trust. I remember how, in my first posting about the company, I questioned whether the company could sign up both patients and doctors and extract the information it planned to offer. Its current network of more than 16,000 physicians vindicates CEO Ron Gutman.

HealthTap has always included a modest “Agree” button that lets a doctor approve of a particular posting by another doctor, but now the company is delving much deeper into the mission of externalizing information that has long remained hidden. They are conducting a series of initiatives to rate doctors. The one announced today, the Top Doctors competition openly asks doctors to rate each other. Every specialist has strong opinions about who is best in his or her field, and is willing to direct patients to the most respected colleagues, but never have they been asked to publicize their opinions.

Gutman is confident that this gambit will pay off. Doctors are naturally competitive, he says, and will sign up to rate one another. He is asking for extremely fine-grained ratings: not just for “best eye surgeon,” but for “best retinal surgeon.” This kind of detail matches the requests made by anxious patients.

Patients will also be able to rate their physician’s bedside manner. Such ratings are known to be very subjective and poorly correlated with clinical results, so the physician and patient ratings will be presented separately on HealthTap. Read more…

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Big ethics for big data

Big ethics for big data

How businesses can confront the ethical issues tied to massive aggregation and data analysis.

"Ethics of Big Data" authors Kord Davis and Doug Patterson explore ownership, anonymization, privacy, and ways to evaluate and establish ethical data practices within an organization.

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Dusting for device fingerprints

Dusting for device fingerprints

BlueCava can identify specific Internet-connected devices and how they're used. Is this the future of tracking?

BlueCava lets businesses identify devices that are coming to their websites. In this interview, BlueCava CEO David Norris discusses fraud prevention, privacy, and the state of reputation technology.

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