49 companies sign Open Data pledge for patient safety

In an effort to improve patient safety, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation announced that 49 healthcare technology companies have signed its Open Data Pledge.

By agreeing to share their data, the companies will help foster a marketplace of analytics to encourage entrepreneurs to develop novel uses of health data that will improve patient safety and reduce preventable deaths, according to the foundation. If enough medical technology companies share the data their products are purchased for, it allows engineers and researchers to develop predictive algorithms that notify clinicians and patients of dangerous trends. The pledge does not ask any company to share protected or proprietary data or not follow all the privacy laws.

“From 9 companies in 2013 to now, 49 companies have made the pledge to share their data with whomever can use the data to create analytics and algorithms that may detect the ailment of the patient, and predict the patient’s health and direction of health to help caregivers prevent harm before it happens,” said Joe Kiani, founder of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. “We thank each and every one of these companies who are leading the way to safer patient care by giving their data. With data sharing, we will hopefully also unlock the mysteries behind cancer and heart disease and help identify therapies that are most likely to work. So what we’ve started here to treat the third leading cause of death--preventable patient harm, may one day even help the first and second causes of death.”

Companies that signed the pledge include Philips Healthcare, Oracle, Cerner, GE Healthcare and IBM Watson Health.