Healthcare IT News cited an article co-authored by Alaap B. Shah and Nivedita B. Patel, attorneys in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, titled “Unlocking Value in Health Data: Truveta’s Data Monetization Strategy Carries Big Risks And Responsibilities,” in its analysis of the Truveta, Microsoft cloud AI partnership.

Following is an excerpt:

On Wednesday, Truveta announced that the provider-led data collaborative has chosen Microsoft Azure as its exclusive cloud platform.

Why It Matters

Truveta – whose platform is governed by 17 big-name U.S. health systems, including AdventHealth, Northwell, Novant, Providence and Trinity Health – says the strategic partnership will boost its research efforts with cloud-based analytics tools and artificial intelligence.

With Azure, Truveta's member providers, representing, they say, more than 15% of all care delivered in 40 states nationwide, will be managing billions of data points, making up what's being touted as the largest de-identified health data platform in the world – and one that will get bigger as Microsoft helps to scale it further, they say.

As part of the deal, Microsoft will also make an investment in the platform, with Truveta's data enabling it to hone its own healthcare products.

Truveta plans to apply Azure-based AI to drive insights from its datasets, which comprise medical records, imaging, genomics and more.

By representing a diverse cross-section of U.S. patients' age, geography, race, ethnicity and gender, the goal is build a robust foundation for analytics insights as providers nationwide tackle population health management initiatives, drive discovery of new treatments and therapeutics and work for improved health equity, say Truveta's health system leaders.

The Larger Trend

Seattle-based Truveta was first launched in February 2021 as a collaborative between 14 blue-chip organizations – including Advocate Aurora Health, Bon Secours Mercy Health, Henry Ford Health System, Sentara Healthcare and others – with the goal of drawing on their own troves of normalized data, sell anonymized datasets for other health systems to use for pop health and precision medicine research.

Since then, the initiative has added three new members: Baylor Scott and White Health, MedStar Health and Texas Health Resources.

By working now with Microsoft – which has been making big investments in the healthcare space, not least its recent $20 billion acquisition of Nuance Communications – Truveta noted that data security and regulatory compliance were key considerations too, citing its privacy technologies and its ability to audit for re-identification risks.

Truveta's platform will be integrated into Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. The companies note, "Microsoft has no rights to the Truveta data, but Truveta will work to make it seamless to access."

"The success of such a massive undertaking with so many stakeholders requires good data stewardship central to the endeavor," wrote two healthcare attorneys from Epstein Becker Green in an opinion piece about Truveta earlier this year.

"As healthcare providers begin to leverage their data to derive knowledge and ultimately gain wisdom about how better to care for their patients, they will bear a greater responsibility to ensure the privacy and security of the health data their patients trust them to safeguard."

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