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December 2016

Uniting Big Health Data for a National Learning Health System in the United States

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 4Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(12):1133-1134. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2719

Advances in computing technology, big data analytics, and electronic medical records have dramatically progressed over the past decade. Both the will and the necessary data now exist to treat the entire US health care system as a true learning system. However, like so many hollow claims of huge impact, this potential will never be realized without nuanced attention to potential obstacles and necessary actions for using our rapidly accumulating big data to actually improve health.1

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