SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service recently teamed up with the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning to establish a big data-based early detection system for infectious diseases using DUR – Drug Utilization Reviews.
DUR refers to the constant review of prescriptions, pharmacy dispensing, and patient medication use, which keeps medical practitioners informed of patient prescription history, including whether they were issued similar drugs by other medical institutions, or if there are any medicines that patients should not be prescribed.
According to officials, the current disease monitoring system is based on physical reports from medical facilities, meaning that early detection can be difficult unless the institutions swiftly inform the authorities.
Furthermore, unlike some 60 infectious diseases designated as level 1 to 4 (with 1 being most contagious), which need to be reported immediately, level-5 and “other” infectious diseases (24 disease types in total) are reported on a weekly basis – meaning it could take up to a week for authorities to be notified after the first diagnosis.
The new system will make up for the loopholes by automatically analyzing DUR data to discover prescription patterns related to infectious diseases, for close, real-time monitoring.
The system, covering the most prevalent of the influenza virus, is complete, officials said, and it will launch next year for as part of a pilot project. Early detection systems for other diseases will undergo development in coming months, they added.
“The MERS outbreak in 2015 gave us the important lesson that initial response is crucial, especially in a national emergency situation,” said a HIRA official. “We’ll continue our cooperation with the government to allow for early detection of diseases using prescription big data, and help strengthen public health.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)