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American Association for Thoracic Surgery Adopts HUBzero® Cloud Platform

AATS Quality Assessment Program Uses SDSC’s Cyberinfrastructure Technology

Published January 14, 2020

The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) has adopted an open-source, cloud-based platform led out of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) that addresses widely recognized challenges with historical platforms throughout the cardiothoracic surgical community.

Built on the HUBzero software, the new AATS Quality Assessment Platform is a single science gateway that includes customizable dashboards and advanced data visualization while providing hospitals and physicians with unfettered access to their data and the ability to share best practices via online collaborations.

The international AATS Quality Assessment Platform addresses the need not only for quality monitoring and quality improvement at each site, but for specialty-wide dissemination of data and for analyses and research publications to advance the field of thoracic surgery. The new AATS platform includes risk adjustment models using machine learning techniques developed in collaboration with SDSC, an Organized Research Unit of the University of California San Diego.

“We have been planning with the AATS for 12 months to develop a real-time, collaborative analytics platform for all their specialties, including adult cardiac, thoracic, and congenital, with the goal of delivering significant improvements across the board, notably improved patient care,” said Michael Zentner, the director of HUBzero who joined SDSC as director of sustainable scientific software in June 2019 following nine years with Purdue University, where he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Purdue Foundry and a senior research scientist.

The ever-increasing burden of data collection for surgery outcomes reporting has become financially unsustainable for many institutions. Data collection times for the AATS quality dataset will be reduced significantly. “The use of fewer fields identified as key information for quality improvement will help efficiently capture current data from existing systems and reduce the time it takes to enter data,” said Zentner.

The vision for the AATS Quality Assurance Platform was recently presented at the AATS 99th Annual Meeting and further illustrated in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Zentner noted that “a significant reduction in center participation costs while providing 24-hour ability for physicians to access their own data as well as aggregated national and international data is a significant value-added proposition to the profession.”

More information about the new AATS platform can be found here.

About the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS)

The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) is an international organization that encourages, promotes, and stimulates the scientific investigation of cardiothoracic surgery. Founded in 1917 by a respected group of the earliest pioneers in the field, its original mission was to “foster the evolution of an interest in surgery of the Thorax.” Today, the AATS is the premiere association for cardiothoracic surgeons in the world and works to continually enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality of patient care. Its more than 1500 members have a proven record of distinction within the specialty and have made significant contributions to the care and treatment of cardiothoracic disease. Visit to learn more.

About SDSC

As an Organized Research Unit of UC San Diego, SDSC is considered a leader in data-intensive computing and cyberinfrastructure, providing resources, services, and expertise to the national research community, including industry and academia. SDSC supports hundreds of multidisciplinary programs spanning a wide variety of domains, from earth sciences and biology to astrophysics, bioinformatics, and health IT. SDSC’s petascale Comet supercomputer is a key resource within the National Science Foundation’s XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) program.