22 April 2010

A few human-centric resource challenges

A couple weeks ago I asked a Practice Resources Specialist at the American Health Information Health Association about one of three pillars about LifeGraphs. See below.

I'm investigating the primitive and derived data dynamics from human health maintenance. The investigation is for a conceptual database product I call LifeGraph. My efforts are not sponsored, endorsed or funded by CSC or the USAFR, my employers. I have not been able to find several data products I thought would be available between the US government, academia and industry regarding human health maintenance.

First, I have not been able to locate a master data health model for male and female human beings living in industrialized countries that is a baseline and benchmark for wellness validation by year (from embryonic discovery through postmortem examination with 100 years of life between the two dates). The purpose of the baseline is to literally look at the health parameters and digital data volume accumulations as those parameters are measured at some frequency based on best practices for a given year (across the 100 year groups). I understand how varied recommended and practiced screenings, tests, etc. will be based on the person or patient. The assumption I'm asking or expecting an informatics researcher to have made is the person/patient is assumed to be healthy going into the appointment with a healthcare provider. This is like asking how much data will accumulate on someone who dies at 100 from a tragic accident and was "healthy as can be" because he/she did everything right all their life from a health maintenance perspective. It's theoretical and arguably impossible but it's a baseline assumption to discuss excursions. One factoid from such bookkeeping is the number of terabytes and files by type/format from primitive and derived measurements and transactions to get those measurements whether by yourself or via an insurance provider of any type (i.e., governmental or private).

Second, I have not been able to locate a portal or organization that has a human being parts catalog that is truly comprehensive--organs, tissues, fluids, artificial, animal and human! This is like asking the anatomist and physiologist to locate or identify if and what is replaceable/transplantable and augmentable/implantable then compile it into an interactive web-based application that uses 3D graphics to navigate the options. The information sources I've found are centered on the medical professional's speciality so if you need eyeball components then you find an ophthalmologist association, if you are an amputee then ... But never have I found a human body part (organ, tissue, fluid) web site that one can browse in 3D true color and "drag and click" parts for a given gender of a given age (fetal to 100-yo) and condition to see the effects of the selections. By effects I mean the new limitations (range of motion, endurance, diet restrictions, etc), costs (for the initial/subsequent operation, the part itself, additional care for the part, etc.), medical procedure recovery periods, etc.

Third, I have not been able to locate a person who has a vision or an organization with a strategy to federate digital human simutable models spanning the spatial and temporal resolutions germane to end users commited to continously learning about the human body but not necessarily Western medicine (i.e., I'm willing to master 3,000+ medical / health / nutritional concepts & terms during 9+ decades of healthy living). This means there is a DHM initialized with medical and health data from the parents and they import the fetus, natal and childhood medical and health data to tune the DHM until the child is old enough to manage the importation until their senilty or death. The DHM might be access via a handheld device like an iTouch, iPad, etc. but the more important concept is the human being has a personalized DHM running in the "...Cloud" and feeds off of every measurement of the human's health reducing the error of predictions delivered when the owner explores anatomical and physiological scenarios.

I hope you will call to discuss. This is probably more than you expected from "someone off the street" per se but I'm just tired of waiting for someone to really integrate the ocean of information into a form that is accessible and actionable to those of us who want the option to look at our journey from embyronic discovery to estimated death and think nothing of manipulating that data statistics, snapshots, pictures, movies, animations, simulations, etc.

To no surprise, the reply acknowledge how interesting the pursuit is and a few marginally useful hyperlinks that don't answer my questions.

Thank you for contacting AHIMA. Your research project sounds very interesting. AHIMA is not aware of any resources that would be of assistance to you. Below are a couple of sites that might; however, I cannot be certain. I wish you luck with your project.

Other NCHS content is available here - http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ . WHO is another source of statistical data - http://www.who.int/whosis/en/index.html . The NLM also has a number of databases, but I doubt any would be of any use to him - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Sitemap/

Healthy People at http://www.healthypeople.gov/ I believe it is sponsored by AHRQ http://www.ahrq.gov/ and contains a lot of government research data on population health status and initiatives.

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