May 09 2018 by: Todd Gottula

Patient Stratification: What it is and why it matters

This week Clarify launched a new precision cohorting capability. At first, this may sound like an oxymoron. How does stratifying patient populations make sense in an industry increasingly moving toward precision medicine?

Well, let’s take a look at patient stratification and what it enables for providers.

Stratification is the division of patient populations into subgroups. For example, patients may be divided according to age, gender, or social background. So, instead of treating every patient the same, one group of patients (say, women with diabetes) may be given slightly different care than other patients to account for the additional or different needs they might have.

At Clarify, we’ve aggregated over 300 patient risk factors on more than 100 million lives. In addition to validated risk metrics such as smoking, hypertension, or diabetes, Clarify’s unique approach incorporates social determinants of health (SDOH) such as education, income, and living status into our predictive analytics platform, Care Prism. The specificity of the data we’ve collected allows us to drill down at a much more precise and personalized level to idenitfy subgroups within subgroups of a larger patient population.

Predictive patient stratification allows us to prospectively identify which patients will benefit from what interventions before their condition worsens. In other words, the more we know about a patient and other patients that look like them, the more precise we can be in matching patients to the right care for them. The value big data provides for precision medicine is the ability to quickly identify trends and patterns. Where previously, we may have only had a sample size of the limited number of patients that walked through a hospital’s doors, we now have access to a wide universe of data.

With this level of granularity, Clarify enables clinicians to identify high-risk populations that can be managed by early intervention, thereby reducing time to recovery and improving outcomes.

“This is the future of great patient care. Precision cohorting augments clinical judgment and provides physicians and nurses alike with a powerful tool to improve patient care,” said Jack Cochran, MD, former Executive Director (CEO), The Permanente Federation. “Clarify is a terrific example of how translating technology from other industries into healthcare can strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.”


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