A consortium of health data researchers in Chicago is leveraging work on several projects and a recent $7 million round of funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to advance both study recruitment and quantitatively-based public health delivery.

The PCORI-funded project, the Chicago Area Patient-Centered Clinical Outcomes Research Network, or CAPriCORN, will create a common base of de-identified information on more than 1 million Chicago residents, with the intention of making study recruitment and analysis much easier across participating institutions. The people behind the work also believe they may be taking a big step toward meeting the elusive goal of providing large amounts of data that is also "cleaner" than unfiltered public-facing data such a Google Flu Trends or other crowdsourced outlets for action by public health officials and long-term initiatives by policymakers.

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