It’s not a scenario any of us want to contemplate, but if you find yourself hospitalized today, then your electronic medical record will be critical in determining a positive outcome.

While this information is helpful, it may not be enough to treat your particular complaint effectively. That’s because your electronic medical record isn’t likely to contain data about your genetic makeup and your personal situation. 

To get the complete picture about your health, the doctor will benefit greatly from real-time access to a variety of information, such as data about your metabolome, transcriptome, genome, methylome, proteome, and microbiome, as well as social and device data.

That’s a tsunami of information! 

How could the hospitalists and emergency department doctors—who have probably never met you before—possibly process that much information in the short time they have to assess you? The truth is they can’t. Processing a tsunami of information requires high-powered computing and the application of machine learning.

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence, and there are many ways it can be applied to healthcare. For example, machine learning can find combinations of drugs that should not be taken together, predict the risk that a patient may be readmitted following a hospital stay, and assist with decisions about what condition a patient might have or what treatment might work best.

Applying machine learning to healthcare is a significant development. At Orion Health, we believe it’s an area in which New Zealand can lead the world. We are a founding partner in one of the largest ICT research projects ever undertaken in that country: the Precision Driven Health initiative, which aims to optimize the health of every individual by combining and learning from all available data.

This exciting initiative is also co-founded by Waitemata District Health Board and the University of Auckland, with support from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. You can find out more at


Learn more about how machine learning could one day save your life. Download the "Introduction to Machine Learning in Healthcare" report now!