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Ibm Eyes 'big Data' Help For Brain Injury

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Credit: EPSRC

Aiming to leverage big data technology for the benefit of healthcare, IBM is working with Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center physicians to develop data-analysis technology that will improve traumatic brain injury treatment. By mining and analyzing enormous volumes of patient data, researchers can forecast the type of brain swelling that results in cognitive damage or death.

Hospitals currently use brain sensors that alert doctors to relieve swelling when skull pressure reaches a critical point. IBM's technology could uncover patterns in real-time heart rate and respiration data that foreshadow a crisis event. The technology is akin to scanning for keywords in a book as it is being written rather than after the fact, says IBM's Nagui Halim. He says that in the future doctors will be able to examine a patient's medical history to make predictions as one can study an author's character development and plots in previous books to predict the outcome of a book before it’s written.

The ability to intervene earlier in brain trauma is critical because brain swelling increases during the first 90 hours after an event.

From The Financial Times 
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