S4-5 – Predictive Health Intelligence: Using Historic Blood Test Results to Identify Risk of Fatty Liver

S4-5 - Predictive Health Intelligence: Using Historic Blood Test Results to Identify Risk of Fatty Liver
In this episode, Tim Jobson, founder of Predictive Health Intelligence, joins the co-hosts to discuss analyzing historic blood test results to identify those at risk of Fatty Liver disease. He shares insights from building a project which is a “combined informatics and clinical program simultaneously,” all while fielding questions from Jörn Schattenberg, Louise Campbell and Roger Green on a subject particularly pertinent to the podcast.

Surfing NASH is joined by Tim Jobson, founder of Predictive Health Intelligence, to discuss applying analytics to sieve through and distill invaluable data otherwise dormant in the NHS record systems. Tim, a Consultant Gastroenterologist and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, has firsthand experience with the shortcomings and frustrations around undiagnosed liver disease. Illustrating the pursuit of a solution, he walks us through the journey of developing a simple tool that can identify patients at risk of liver disease by analyzing the results of blood tests given throughout their lives. Also featuring in this session are Surfers Jörn Schattenberg, Louise Campbell and Roger Green, who pose compelling questions and share insightful perspectives on this particularly pertinent subject to the podcast.

Tim begins by providing his background and how he came to partner with expert clinicians and specialists in healthcare IT to address how we can better identify patients. A pivotal validation came in the form of funding from the National Institute for Health Research to establish Predictive Health Intelligence and create a software and system that works quickly and straightforwardly. He notes that this project is a “combined informatics and clinical program simultaneously,” where the building of new clinical pathways is a key part of their process and aims. An important idea emerges: instead of waiting for inbound referrals, Tim is focused on how to proactively engage in outreach to those who likely may not come to attention until presenting with decompensated cirrhosis. At this point, the challenge around collecting patient data is acknowledged but explored in more detail later in the conversation. Once approved, the task targets organizing, curating and systematizing this data in a way that enables end users to search for, identify and investigate patterns of blood tests. This approach offers tremendous value in its ability to analyze cumulative results as opposed to deriving insights from a single point in time. By demonstrating area under the curve and introducing trend lines in an easily deployed case-finding search engine, frontline treaters are better equipped to pick up patients.

From here, the other panelists inject a series of thought-provoking questions, starting with Jörn’s focus on the patient response to this new pathway. Thus far, Tim is pleased to have received positive feedback and expects to conduct a comparative analysis as outreach expands. Jörn next prompts a thorough look into the computational components of this project. Tim explains a key to the system lies in “prepping the data” so that queries can generate cohorts of interest in mere seconds. This is an evolving effort that he works on closely with developers to craft bespoke technological solutions. Louise asks about what barriers, financial or otherwise, stand in the way of outreach efforts. Tim states that specifically financial barriers are being combatted with economic analysis to demonstrate the massive potential savings NHS can experience by adopting these preventative measures. Discussion segues back to computational power and the integration of assessing for the wider metabolic spectrum. Roger suggests that such a technology can offer an effective optical validity test before he shifts thoughts toward integration with other pathways.

As the session continues, Tim fields numerous prompts which delve into patient engagement, elements of data privacy, physician responses, the future of this project and much more. This is yet another eye-catching profile of an innovative technology in the Fatty Liver space contending to solve an immensely relevant challenge.

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