Knowledge-driven healthcare supports our clinicians to make sound clinical decisions at the frontline of our hospitals and communitiesDr Dale Bramley, Waitemata District Health BoardThis is a mission led research, declares Minister of Science and Innovation Steven Joyce during the launch of Precision Driven Health.Precision Driven Health is one of the largest data science research initiatives to be undertaken in the country, and aims to position New Zealand at the forefront of precision health globally.The project was founded by Orion Health, University of Auckland, Waitemata District Health Board, with support from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, to provide world-leading research into the emerging area of precision medicine.Precision medicine involves applying new data science techniques to understand the massive volume of data about an individual that it being captured by health information systems, consumer devices, social networks, genetic testing and other sources. This is New Zealand\u2019s largest ever ICT research and development project, says Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae, during the launch at the University of Auckland.This significant investment, he notes, is going into ICT, which is the country\u2019s third largest export and predicted to be the largest export in the future.It is intended that a combined $37.8 million will be invested in the programme over seven years.Professor Jim Metson, vice chancellor of research at the University of Auckland, says the project signifies a move towards health informatics becoming an increasing part of routine healthcare and outcome for patients.Professor Jim Metson, vice chancellor of research at the University of AucklandWaitemata DHB Chief Executive Dr Dale Bramley says the joint initiative with Orion Health and the University of Auckland promotes a better understanding of its patient population and will result in an improved suite of decision-support tools for healthcare professionals.Waitemata DHB Chief Executive Dr Dale Bramley\u201cKnowledge-driven healthcare supports our clinicians to make sound clinical decisions at the frontline of our hospitals and communities," says Bramley. "It enables streamlined, personalised care and ultimately results in better care plans, outcomes and experiences for our patients." A tsunami of dataMcCrae notes how healthcare workers will face an exponential increase in the amount of patient information needed for effective treatment.This will require the require the application of sophisticated \u2018big data\u2019 techniques such as machine learning to process, analyse and surface information that will assist in creating more personalised healthcare plans.\u201cThe electronic health record is fast becoming the most powerful tool in the medical toolkit. Today it contains a patient\u2019s medical record, soon it will include genetic, environmental and social data and will be critical in the application of precision medicine or personalised healthcare,\u201d says McCrae.\u201cFor all this information to be accessible it will need to be stored in the cloud because the size of the electronic file for each individual will be so large,\u201d says McCrae, citing findings in Orion Health\u2019s Introduction to Machine Learning in Healthcare report.He says some estimates suggest the average electronic health record could include as much as six terabytes of data. \u201cThat\u2019s a quarter of the whole of Wikipedia (24 terabytes)!\u201dMcCrae says healthcare workers will be unable to process all this new information in a timely way and will rely on high-powered computing, using insights from machine learning \u2013 a type of artificial intelligence that enables computers to find hidden insights without being programmed.\u201cAlgorithms will interrogate vast data sets and present recommended treatment plans tailored to individuals,\u201d says McCrae.\u201cThis is a new revolution in healthcare.\u201d\u201cEssential to the application of machine learning are intelligent algorithms and rich data sets,\u201d says McCrae.He says Orion Health is at the forefront of developing both areas.Apart from its investment in the Precision Driven Health Initiative, he points out Orion Health software manages over 100 million patient records globally.Orion Health is \u201cone of the few health software companies in the world capable of carrying out machine learning analysis at scale\u201d, he states.'Essential to the application of machine learning are intelligent algorithms and rich data sets': Orion Health CEO Ian McCraeSend news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinapFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nzSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.