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Geisinger lab taps into imaging, EHR data to advance cardiology

September 23, 2019 / Greg Slabodkin

A group of engineers, researchers and physician scientists at Geisinger health system are leveraging imaging and image processing technologies to improve outcomes for patients with heart disease. Brandon Fornwalt, MD, co-director of Geisinger’s Cardiac Imaging and Technology Laboratory, says the goal of the lab is to “improve the lives of patients with cardiovascular disease through the development, implementation and evaluation of cutting-edge technologies,” including machine learning. In addition to cardiac imaging, the lab is increasingly focused on utilizing large electronic health record and genomic databases to better understand and treat patients with genetic mutations linked to heart disease. With our group, we use any kind of clinical data that we can get our hands on that is going to improve our ability to understand the trajectory of a patient and how we can intervene in a positive way, says Fornwalt. “Geisinger has access to a large amount of genomic data. Also, what makes Geisinger’s data unique is that we had an EHR system installed in 1996—so it’s been (in place) over two decades now. And we serve a very stable patient population with longitudinal data on a lot of patients.”