The National Cancer Institute is expanding the functionality of its Patient Outcomes Data Service, a Web-based "Lite" electronic health records system that enables physicians and hospitals to track oncology patient demographics, diagnoses, treatments and outcomes. The system collects data in a common database with access controls to protect providers' proprietary data. Providers with their own EHRs can import data into PODS and run comparative reports against aggregated data.

NCI, Microsoft and SAIC created a prototype that integrates PODS with Microsoft Corp.'s HealthVault personal health records software and Amalga data integration and aggregation software that aids comparative analysis. This enables patients to contribute self-entered medical information as well as tracking such factors as daily pain levels, sleep patterns and mood. Such information can give researchers and clinicians a better understanding of the impact of cancer treatments, particularly among patient sub-types and populations.

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