Harnessing Health Data

Lehigh Business and the College of Health team up.

illustration of doctors and a brain

Health and healthcare data are exploding in size and scope. Health industry stakeholders—from health care providers, private and government players, biopharmaceutical and device and diagnostic companies—and large data aggregators (e.g., Google and Amazon) are amassing mountains of data resources.

“The problem is,” says Chad Meyerhoefer, professor of economics who focuses on the economics of health and nutrition, “many data owners are limited in their analytical capability to derive health-promoting insights from their data.”

The Colleges of Business and Health are proposing to solve that problem by building the Lehigh Health Data Warehouse and Data Science Laboratory. The HDW-DSL will serve as both a nexus for collecting, cleaning, and combining disparate sources of data from stakeholders and as an innovation hub for developing and applying data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve health outcomes.

“We will incorporate a cloud-based infrastructure,” says Beth Dolan, interim dean of the College of Health, “that will allow scalable collection, use and exchange of information that can serve to lower the administrative and financial burdens for industry, government, and academic researchers to conduct good data science, and promote interdisciplinary scholarship.”

The goal is to identify industry partners and start collecting data this fall.