RENCI Research Architect Presents on O’Reilly Webcast

RENCI Senior Research Software Architect Michael Shoffner will be featured in a live O’Reilly Media webinar tomorrow, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST). Shoffner, who is also an adjunct faculty member in the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), will be speaking about “Turning Bigger Data Into Better Healthcare: The direction clinical medicine is heading in the age of Big Data.” Shoffner’s talk will address one of the most important challenges facing the health care industry today: we now have more health-related data than ever before, but the technology to analyze this large influx of data is lacking.

Not only must healthcare data technology scale to petabytes of clinical genomics data, but it must also weave together data management with cybersecurity, on-demand analysis, and data-driven decision support for health professionals. It must assist patients and healthcare providers with the technology logistics of managing complex data, as well as provide protection for healthcare institutions by mitigating liability arising from protected health information.

Shoffner is the lead on RENCI’s Secure Medical Workspace (SMW) project, helping to develop the SMW system for UNC Hospitals in collaboration with NC TraCS and SILS. The SMW system was designed by combining a secure centralized infrastructure with virtualization and data leakage protection technologies to allow researchers to manipulate and analyze research data while ensuring that sensitive patient information remains within the SMW. Shoffner is now leading his team to pilot the next version of the software, which will have an increased security profile, be easier for researchers to use and provide an increased security profile.

The webcast will use the SMW project as an example to describe the direction clinical medicine is heading in the age of big data, highlighting key initiatives and challenges. It will be available for viewing at O’ and you can register to attend the virtual event at