View the full issue here: https://academic.oup.com/jalm/issue/8/1
Data science has the potential to transform patient care by finding patterns and trends in raw healthcare datasets and then using these findings to develop cures for diseases, identify vulnerable patients before they become ill, and better personalize testing and treatments. The field still has a long way to go before it can reach its full potential, though. More patient data is being generated than ever before and the medical world is grappling with how to use emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze this data. These developments have opened up more opportunities for progress, but they’ve also raised more challenges—and lab medicine experts are playing an essential role in navigating both.
Lab professionals have long been pioneers in developing ways to collect, store, and analyze health data. It’s no surprise then that they’re at the forefront of the data science revolution, and this special issue of The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine showcases the research they’re doing that’s driving the field forward. The issue features numerous studies illustrating how clinical labs are already integrating data science into routine care. This includes two papers that describe data science-based strategies that enabled labs to meet COVID-19 testing demands. In the future, these strategies could prevent testing shortages during new infectious disease outbreaks. The issue also features insights from laboratory medicine experts on the major hurdles the data science field is facing—such as ensuring that AI is used fairly and equitably—and on potential solutions to these problems.
“It is undeniable … that data, and what one does with it, has fundamentally changed science and medicine,” wrote issue editors and laboratory data science experts Niklas Krumm, MD, PhD; Lindsay A.L. Bazydlo, PhD; Dustin R. Bunch, PhD; Shannon Haymond, PhD; and Daniel T. Holmes, MD, in the preamble to the special issue. “Clinical laboratories are no exception, and in fact have had a leading role in developing health data sources as well as health data science and analytics. […] Taken as a whole, this special issue highlights many remarkable recent advances of laboratory data science.”
Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, AACC brings together more than 70,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit www.aacc.org.
Launched by AACC in 2016, The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine (jalm.org) is an international, peer-reviewed publication showcasing the applied research in clinical laboratory science that is driving innovation forward in healthcare.