Renal care giant Fresenius Medical Care has completed the first phase of its anonymized global dialysis dataset—coined the Apollo database project, which the company said is the foundation of its long-term AI aspirations.
Intended to advance patient care quality and outcomes by making kidney disease care more personalized and precise, the database provides a view into the clinical care provided to more than 540,000 dialysis patients, the largest multinational, longitudinal database of its kind.
Phase one of the Apollo Database project harmonizes data from across the company’s global clinical systems into the cloud, aggregating data from 40 countries across six continents on more than 350 patient treatment parameters. It includes information from more than 140 million dialysis treatments, and more than 34 million laboratory assessments.
“Artificial intelligence is only as good as the data that powers it,” said Frank Maddux, M.D., global chief medical officer, in a statement. “The Apollo database is not only helping advance our understanding of kidney disease and dialysis therapies through data-driven insights. It also provides data that is high quality, relevant and timely, three vital data attributes that are crucial to achieving AI aspirations at scale.”
“The data created across Fresenius Medical Care’s global clinical footprint is unmatched in its breadth and depth, and is one of the company’s greatest competitive advantages,” said Stuart McGuigan, global CIO of Fresenius Medical Care, in a statement. “Reimagining our digital infrastructure has been a key part of our organizational transformation, and the achievement of the Apollo Database project is an important benchmark in not just our digital transformation, but in our long-term AI strategy.”
“Dialysis care generates a large amount of data that can be used for secondary purposes, but multinational datasets are scarce due to the fundamental need for adherence to varying complex data protection regulations around the world, as well as the challenges in harmonization of data from different clinical systems,” said Len Usvyat, Ph.D., head of Clinical Advanced Analytics for Fresenius Medical Care, in a statement. “This important data tool increases the speed and robustness of the company’s analytical capabilities and provides greater consistency in generating data-driven clinical insights. The knowledge gained from these efforts have the potential to improve not just the practice of medicine, but more importantly the quality of life for people with kidney disease.”
The project is coordinated by the Global Medical Office in collaboration with the company’s Digital Technology & Innovation, Care Delivery and Care Enablement teams. The project is already powering more than 15 clinical improvement projects, such as a global feasibility assessment of the expanded use of an Anemia Control Model, an artificial intelligence model being used in many countries to optimize use of erythropoietin stimulating agents and iron therapies in dialysis patients.