According to the Associated Press, the U.S. healthcare system wastes over $750 billion a year, which is almost 30 cents of every dollar you spend for medical purposes. How is this wasteful spending happening? We are spending money on unneeded care, paperwork, fraud, and other waste. In light of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, both President Barack Obama and Republican Nominee Mitt Romney accuse each other of cutting back on Medicare, which will put many people’s lives at risk. No matter your politics, no matter if you are for Obamacare or Romneycare, healthcare is an important issue that some companies do not take lightly. With cancer being the leading cause of death worldwide, some institutions are helping to make sure waste is minimized and answers to our health-related questions are found. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States.
It does not take a political party platform to realize healthcare is an important issue in America. A recent report from an 18-member panel of experts, doctors, business people, and public officials acknowledges the great biomedical knowledge and innovation in medical procedures. However, American healthcare does not live up to expectations in terms of outcomes, costs, and equity. What can be done? The same report that highlights the problems we are facing also provides some suggestions. There needs to be improvements in payment reform, education for patients to become more knowledgeable consumers, and a leveraging of technology to reinforce sound clinical decisions. With respect to the last solution specifically, TIBCO Spotfire software is one way institutions like Dana-Farber are bettering the United State’s healthcare system. Dana-Farber used Spotfire to rapidly summarize and visualize information about different diseases. Because of Spotfire’s flexibility and visual environment, Dana-Farber is able to gain insights on clinical approaches, clinical trials dates, predominant cancer types in the trials, clinical opportunities, and pharmaceutical market coverage.
Although the information from clinical vaccine trials is organized into categories and is readily accessible, Dana-Farber’s Cancer Vaccine Center (CVC) faced the challenge of analyzing the data. It was difficult and time consuming to analyze information from various data sources. This challenge was easily overcome with TIBCO Spotfire; it’s the real-time solution that Dana-Farber can depend on.
Because Spotfire is easy to learn and use, the software was a perfect computational and visual analysis tool for data exploration and discovery. Spotfire proves to be a cost-effective tool for Dana Farber’s CVC, and the findings from the reports help the CVC understand the diseases and cancer vaccine trials more effectively. As a nation, we do not need to remain divided on the issue of healthcare; it is proving too costly in time, money, and resources. Researchers, scientists, physicians conducting clinical trials, policy makers, grant officers at funding bodies, and government regulators all benefit from the help that Spotfire can add to the field for cancer research. Health is not a blue state or red state issue. As long as people are being affected by cancer and other diseases, companies like Dana-Farber can rely on Spotfire to help them find answers, not debates.