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UA to use ‘big data’ to prevent cardiac arrhythmias

TUCSON – Thanks to a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, researchers at the University of Arizona and Banner Health plan to use data in order to prevent cardiac arrhythmias.

According to a news release, the 2-year, $766,000 grant will allow researchers to “implement alerts embedded in patients’ electronic health records to estimate risk and to assist health-care providers in mitigating sudden cardiac death.”

The team plans to work within 28 Banner Health facilities throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

The University of Arizona says that “as many as two-thirds of elderly  patients admitted to acute-care settings are exposed to multiple medications  known to interfere with the ability of the heart to “recharge” between beats, which could lead to a life-threatening form of cardiac arrhythmia.”

The project will use electronic health records and prescribing systems to identify patients at high risk of harm from medications and immediately send electronic messages to advise doctors of the risk and how to prevent the development of potentially life-threatening heart rhythm disorders and sudden death, according to the UA.

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