30th October, 2023
Fresenius Medical Care, the world's leading provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases, announced the phase-one completion of the company’s first anonymized global dialysis dataset—coined the Apollo database project—the foundation of the company’s long-term AI aspirations. Intended to advance patient care quality and outcomes by making kidney disease care more personalized and precise, the database provides a highly sophisticated view into the clinical care provided to more than 540 thousand dialysis patients, the largest multinational, longitudinal database of its kind.
“Artificial intelligence is only as good as the data that powers it,” says Frank Maddux, MD, Global Chief Medical Officer and Member of the Management Board. “The Apollo database is not only helping advance our understanding of kidney disease and dialysis therapies through data-driven insights. It also provides data that is high quality, relevant and timely, three vital data attributes that are crucial to achieving AI aspirations at scale.”
Phase one of the Apollo Database project harmonizes data from across the company’s global clinical systems into the cloud, aggregating data from 40 countries across 6 continents on more than 350 patient treatment parameters. It includes information from more than 540 thousand dialysis patients, more than 140 million dialysis treatments, and more than 34 million laboratory assessments.
The database provides full anonymization of data and a streamlined pathway for global analytics all while adhering to the complex set of global, regional and local privacy requirements, including HIPAA and GDPR.
“The data created across Fresenius Medical Care’s global clinical footprint is unmatched in its breadth and depth, and is one of the company’s greatest competitive advantages,” said Stuart McGuigan, Global Chief Information Officer of Fresenius Medical Care. “Reimagining our digital infrastructure has been a key part of our organizational transformation, and the achievement of the Apollo Database project is an important benchmark in not just our digital transformation, but in our long-term AI strategy.”
The Apollo Database project will be featured in numerous research presentations by Fresenius Medical Care experts at this year’s American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week conference—one of the world’s largest and most influential gatherings of kidney disease physicians and experts—happening November 2-5 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U.S.
“Dialysis care generates a large amount of data that can be used for secondary purposes, but multinational datasets are scarce due to the fundamental need for adherence to varying complex data protection regulations around the world, as well as the challenges in harmonization of data from different clinical systems,” said Len Usvyat, PhD, Head of Clinical Advanced Analytics for Fresenius Medical Care. “This important data tool increases the speed and robustness of the company’s analytical capabilities and provides greater consistency in generating data-driven clinical insights. The knowledge gained from these efforts have the potential to improve not just the practice of medicine, but more importantly the quality of life for people with kidney disease.”
The project is coordinated by the Global Medical Office in collaboration with the company’s Digital Technology & Innovation, Care Delivery and Care Enablement teams. The project is already powering more than 15 clinical improvement projects, such as a global feasibility assessment of the expanded use of an Anemia Control Model, an artificial intelligence model being used in many countries to optimize use of erythropoietin stimulating agents and iron therapies in dialysis patients.