Tag Archives: data in health care


Kira Payne photoKira Payne MD, FRCPC, is a recently retired psychiatrist and jazz musician living in Toronto, Ontario


You would think it would be easy to be an expert in the information age: all those books and journal articles, indexed in libraries, ready and waiting to be perused; all those digital bits and bytes coursing through the internet, searchable on academic databases or Google; all those archived videos on You Tube providing information on everything from how to calculate Pi to how to fold a t-shirt in only 2 seconds. Wikis abound, democratizing information, enabling it to exist in a continuously amendable form. Information is everywhere and growing exponentially. It is “kid in a candy store” stuff, right? But there is something sinister about the overabundance of information. Reminiscent of a Grimm fairy tale, there is the very real possibility of paradoxical starvation despite the bounty. ...continue reading

DMacA_3Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK


The James Mackenzie Lecture is one of the most prestigious eponymous lectures of the Royal College of General Practitioners. The title of the lecture recently delivered by Toronto Professor, Frank Sullivan, certainly grabbed attention. The title, "Atomic Data", actually comes from cardiologist James Mackenzie’s own ambition in setting up the Institute for Clinical Research in St. Andrews on his return to Scotland in 1918: 'to do for medicine what the Atomic Theory had done for chemistry'. And, as we may have expected from Frank, whose research interests lie in health informatics, electronic medical records, decision support systems and, of course, community based trials, he explored how “big data” could be used to transform medical research. ...continue reading