Biomedical data can be a pain to work with. Data lives in multiple places: electronic health records, proprietary vendor databases, MS Access databases, and even flat files. Furthermore, healthcare data models are often incredibly complex, with multiple temporal attributes and a dizzying array of tables.
This kind of environment puts a damper on biomedical research, making it hard for analysts and clinicians to explore and and test hypotheses about their patient populations. We believe that as medicine and biomedical research becomes increasingly data-driven we need to democratize access to data across a wide number of people with varying skill sets to maximize its utility. For this reason, we created the Harvest framework: a toolkit for building highly interactive data-intensive biomedical applications. Harvest was built using several guiding principles:
- Promote data discovery
- Enable real time query and reporting
- Render data in a way that makes sense to the clinician/researcher
- Give easy routes to customizing data sets for export to popular analysis software
We think Harvest is going to be very popular inside the biomedical research community, but we are also excited to see who else might want to use it too. So where do you go if you want to reach the biggest audience of open source developers, users, and fans? You go the O’Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon. OSCON is the sort of place where never know who you’re going to meet sitting at breakfast or lunch, and that’s part of the magic of it all. If you’re at OSCON Thursday, come check out our talk Harvest: Data Discovery for Humans and let us know what you think!