Booz Allen and The Air Force Medical Service Harness Big Data to Improve Patient Care for Active Duty Military and Their Beneficiaries

Jun 29, 2018 10:00 AM ET
From left to right, Dr. Ezekiel Maier (Booz Allen), Lt. Col. Michael Holmes (Air Force Medical Support Agency), and Dr. Pavithra Shivakumar (Booz Allen), accept a 2018 FedHealthIT Innovation Award in Washington, DC, June 12, 2018. Their project, the AFMS Digital Biobank, seeks to integrate genomics and health databanks to improve patient care, reduce medical costs and improve health and readiness.

What if we could unleash the power of data to build an active duty military precision medicine program?

It’s a groundbreaking opportunity Booz Allen and the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) were determined to explore.

The Challenge: The Air Force was producing a large amount of valuable genomics data from its healthcare beneficiaries, but it was often inaccessible for reuse due to storage in on-site hard drives. Considering security, scalability, and cross-system interaction, how could the AFMS take this data and create insights that could impact patient care?

The Solution: AFMS and Booz Allen decided to move from an on-site IT system to an entirely cloud-based platform for the Digital Biobank. This adoption and embrace of cloud computing was a new approach for the Defense Health Agency (DHA).

The end result, the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) Digital Biobank Platform, will empower the AFMS to help reintegrate and redeploy service members based on their physical and mental well-being. It enables actionable insights and individualized care through automated bioinformatics, and querying and linking across health data types, including genomic, clinical, and military-relevant data.

Earlier this month, the Digital Biobank Platform received a prestigious FedHealthIT Innovation Award, one of 26 innovative federal programs recognized.

Read more about how Booz Allen and the AFMS tackled this tough challenge here.