Bridging the Gap in Medical Research with Patient Data

Washington University and BJC HealthCare have unveiled a collaborative venture with St. Louis-based startup, CuriMeta. This emerging firm offers a unique proposition: leveraging de-identified patient data from these institutions to discern patterns in effective treatments and preventive measures. Since the transition to electronic records post the 2009 stimulus bill, there’s been an accumulation of a vast body of data. Davis Walp, CuriMeta’s CEO, emphasizes the potential of this extensive electronic data history, stating its capability to ethically and compliantly expedite the discovery of cures. Recent research using VA records has already unveiled insights, such as the increased risks of mental health disorders in post-COVID-19 patients.

Established in early 2020, CuriMeta, while closely aligned with Washington University and BJC, operates as an independent entity, housed within the Cortex Innovation Community. The partnership aims to delve into research areas including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and rare diseases, among others. Philip Payne, from Washington University School of Medicine, highlights the potential of studying drug outcomes in patients with multiple health conditions, who might have been previously overlooked in clinical trials. Emphasizing the commitment to patient privacy, Payne notes that no personally identifiable data will be shared beyond the institution. He underscores the urgency of harnessing the vast data available to meet the increasing demand for diagnostics and therapeutics in various medical domains.

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