The predictive modeling process is time consuming and requires clinical researchers to handle complex electronic health record (EHR) data in restricted computational environments. To address this problem, we implemented a cloud-based predictive modeling system via a hybrid setup combining a secure private server with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic MapReduce platform.
EHR data is preprocessed on a private server and the resulting de-identified event sequences are hosted on AWS. Based on user-specified modeling configurations, an on-demand web service launches a cluster of Elastic Compute 2 (EC2) instances on AWS to perform feature selection and classification algorithms in a distributed fashion. Afterwards, the secure private server aggregates results and displays them via interactive visualization.
We tested the system on a pediatric asthma readmission task on a de-identified EHR dataset of 2,967 patients. We conduct a larger scale experiment on the CMS Linkable 2008–2010 Medicare Data Entrepreneurs’ Synthetic Public Use File dataset of 2 million patients, which achieves over 25-fold speedup compared to sequential execution.