The Journey from Data to Wisdom
Our informatics consultancy is about taking data and turning it into information; taking information and making it into knowledge; taking knowledge and making it into wisdom.
We have 20 years experience helping clients make that journey. Sometimes by building new Medicines knowledgebases, sometimes by building algorithms to use data, sometimes by teaching and mentoring the use of standards and technologies. Whether you’re a clinical systems developer, a regulatory agency, a medicines or devices manufacturer we can help you on the journey.
Get in touch with us to set up a consultation and see if we can help you.
20, West Garth Road, Exeter, United Kingdom, EX4 5AH
Areas of Expertise
Most prescribing and dispensing systems provide a "drug list" that can be used to select the medicine required. These used to be maintained by the users, or provided by the prescribing or dispensing system supplier, but increasingly each country is establishing its own national medicines list to allow unambiguous identification of all products. This is of key importance not just for clinical safety but also to allow efficient tracking of adverse events and implementation of reimbursement policies.
Blue Wave have been involved in several national databases, helping to design the initial database then then advising on establishment of editorial policy and appropriate medicines coding.
dm+d - UK
AMT - Australia
IPU Product File - Ireland
We have helped clients built systems for real time checking of prescription details including drug-drug interactions, dose range, therapeutic duplication and others. We have also helped customers move from formularies to full order sentences.
We are always looking for ways to make checks more relevant and less intrusive for users.
Every record keeping system can generate a list of medication related to the patient. Few if any try to condense that into a concise list that is clinically relevant.
Building on the work in Julie’s PhD Thesis we are developing a sophisticated system for capturing medication records from many sources and then rendering that into a clear visualisation.
See the QmatiliS site for more:
We have worked with regulators, including the FDA and EMEA to structure medicines lists in ways that reduce the potential for errors
We have worked with Pharmaceutical companies and Clinical Research Organisations to improve the quality of data collection during clinical trials
We have worked with clinical knowledgebases including the British National Formulary and First DataBank to improve the quality of data they hold and its usefulness to clinicians.
We have worked with clinical systems suppliers to improve the effectiveness of clinical checks during prescribing and dispensing.
Both Hugh and Julie were principal modellers on substantial parts of the IDMP standard.
Where western medicine is practised there are few adults who have not received medication in some form and as people age they tend to receive more and more medicines. At the same time the prescribers have more medicines to choose from, more regulation of what they are allowed to use, and more conditions for which there is treatment.
Hugh and Julie worked for over 10 years in First DataBank developing some of the first systems for checking prescriptions for drug-drug interactions, correct dose levels, ingredient doubling and others all of which are now a standard part of prescribing.
Safe prescribing is not just about checking what has been prescribed - systems should enforce standards that ensure that the correct medicine can be identified and that the dosage is clearly expressed. Blue Wave played a major role in developing a standard for dosage syntax that was balloted through HL7 and is still a reference source in the NHS.
We have been involved with HL7 for the last 15 years, particularly the Pharmacy Work Group where both Julie and Hugh have been co-chairs and also with the HL7 Terminology Authority (Julie) and FHIR (Hugh). Until recently Hugh was a board member of HL7 UK
The objective of HL7 is to provide a standard for the exchanging messages that are semantically interoperable - in other words the relationships between items of data are defined as well as the items themselves.
This is a development of HL7 v3 aimed specifically at representing data in clinical trials. We have played a major role in developing the first commercial implementation of the BRIDG model.
Julie has spent a lot of time with the Pharmacy special interest group within Snomed and is acknowledged as a world leading expert.
To be useful, large areas of clinical data and knowledge are organised into code systems. Often these are held in spreadsheets and copied and revised for each new project. Terminology is the discipline of organising this coding into a coherent and well defined set of information.
Julie James is one of the world's foremost experts on terminology with extensive experience of (amongst others):
We can provide training and mentoring in terminology development and we can also provide help and guidance on establishing appropriate terminology management systems.
Blue Wave has been building software systems and helping others to design and build systems for over 30 years. We do not undertake development and testing of software, but we have on many occasions built prototype systems to help clients understand what they really want.
We have experience of SOA and also HL7 v3 and FHIR messaging.
For over 20 years we have been looking at the mechanics of prescribing and dispensing systems in multiple countries. We understand the subtle effects of the culture of medical practice and the effects of different funding mechanisms. More recently we have been working with clinical trials and understanding their drivers and mechanisms.
Training & Mentoring
Blue Wave have run an assortment of training courses, usually to help clients understand the importance of establishing clear semantics for the information they are working with and also to help define an appropriate working practice.
This training is usually specific to client needs but we have a body of training material that can be adapted as the need arises.
Julie also has a particular interest in mentoring those developing controlled terminology in healthcare and clinical research, and especially for using controlled terminology correctly to support semantically interoperable data and applications.