Dallas-based PCCI, a non-profit research and development corporation that offers real-time predictive and surveillance analytics for the healthcare industry through cutting-edge software solutions, recently announced three key collaborations with UT Southwestern. Funding is coming from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) and will exceed $30 million.
The new funding is part of an NIH-sponsored Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which is to be administered through the Center for Translational Medicine at UTSW in Dallas. PCCI will contribute its team of mathematicians, clinicians, and engineers to provide a suite of specialized services, including scientific research, real-time health predictive modeling, natural language processing, and applied clinical informatics, all of which will help foster multi-institution research between UTSW, Parkland Health & Hospital System (Parkland), and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (CMC). The end goal is to create a truly “bench-to-bedside clinical and translational research” — a proven driving principle at UT Southwestern.
PCCI and UT Southwestern have a close working relationship already in place, with researchers and biotech professionals sharing responsibilities in both organizations. Ruben Amarasingham, MD, MBA, is the president and CEO of PCCI and also serves as associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. His role in the new collaboration will be to serve as Director of the Biomedical Informatics Program, and will lead PCCI’s contributions in helping to interpret EMR data in real-time.
In addition, Dr. Amarasingham will also oversee “a new AHRQ-funded R24 Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) at UTSW, Parkland, CMC, and North Texas Veterans Administration Health Systems as part of an AHRQ grant awarded to UTSW,” according to a recent press release. “PCCI will play an important informatics coordination role for PCOR, developing new methods to predict readmissions using data from novel electronic medical record (EMR) sources previously untested.” Dr. Amarasingham commented, “We’re incredibly excited by these grants that look to improve clinical care through the application of carefully conducted health services and informatics research.”
Dr. Amarasingham’s role as director is the lynchpin to the PCCI and UT Southwestern CTSA partnership. Dr. Robert Toto, MD, Principal Investigator on the CTSA grant, and Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research and Director of the Center for Translational Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, noted that his leader ship skills and proven expertise in developing and implementing innovative informatics science approaches—such as natural language processing and predictive modeling— will be a tremendous asset to the initiative.
Photo from utsw.org