Nine to 15% of breakthrough COVID-19 infections send patients to hospital, says new Truveta data

Truveta introduced a new platform this week offering real-time de-identified clinical data from tens of thousands of care sites across 42 states.  

With the new addition of three large health systems, the data aggregation company said it now represents more than 16% of clinical care.  

Truveta also released its first set of COVID-19 related insights from the platform, based on a study population of 1.7 million fully vaccinated patients. Although breakthrough cases were rare, hovering at a rate of around 1% for all groups, those with comorbidities such as chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease and diabetes were more likely to wind up hospitalized.   

“It is a crucial time to join Truveta and be part of the solution to leverage our clinical data to advance care for our patients and for patients around the world,” said Dr. Melinda L. Estes, president and CEO of Saint Luke’s Health System, in a statement.   

“By joining Truveta, Saint Luke’s can contribute data for the global good of humanity and discover new insights that will inform critical public health decisions and provide information that will help us better care for our patients,” said Estes.  


Truveta’s trove of de-identified clinical data may help researchers glean insights about the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health trends.  

The information, says the company, is updated daily and includes all electronic health record data including labs, vitals, diagnosis codes, procedure codes, physician notes, pathology reports, images and genomics.  

Truveta structures clinical data into a FHIR data model and uses machine learning to de-identify it compliant with HIPAA.   

“Once de-identified, aggregate data flows into the Truveta Platform where researchers have many options to analyze the data, including exporting into their preferred analysis tools, building custom studies within the Truveta application, using the data within Jupyter notebooks or via APIs, or viewing it in customizable daily dashboards,” explained the company in a press release.

Truveta used its COVID-19 study as an example of the platform’s capabilities.

Among its findings:  

  • About 1% of vaccinated people overall got a breakthrough infection, with 0.1% of the vaccinated general population hospitalized for a breakthrough case 
  • 9% to 15% of people who have a breakthrough infection of COVID-19 end up hospitalized, with Pfizer vaccinated patients showing the 9% trend and Johnson & Johnson patients at 15%
  • Of all high-risk conditions studied, patients with chronic kidney disease required hospitalization the most: One in four members of this group wound up hospitalized after a breakthrough infection   

‘”People with high-risk conditions, like cancer, HIV or organ transplants, are no more likely than the general population to have a breakthrough case, which likely reflects their risk averse behaviors. Nevertheless, when they do get infected they end up hospitalized twice as often,” said Truveda researchers.  

Researchers voiced excitement at the potential for more analysis in the future.  

“In just under two weeks, our team was able to ask and answer important medical questions using one of the largest comprehensive real-time datasets of fully vaccinated Americans,” said Dr. Nick Stucky, director of clinical research at Truveta and practicing infectious diseases physician at Providence Portland Medical Center, in a statement.   

“I’m energized by the opportunity the Truveta Platform can offer to physicians like me and clinical researchers around the world to discover solutions to health problems at new levels of speed and accuracy. We invite other researchers to join us to explore and expand on these insights,” he said.  

Truveta’s members include Providence, Advocate Aurora Health, Trinity Health, Tenet Healthcare, Northwell Health, AdventHealth, Baptist Health of Northeast Florida, Baylor Scott & White Health, Bon Secours Mercy Health, CommonSpirit Health, Hawaii Pacific Health, Henry Ford Health System, Medstar Health, Memorial Hermann Health System, Novant Health, Ochsner Health, Saint Luke’s Health System, Sentara Healthcare, Texas Health Resources and UnityPoint Health.  

“We are excited to join the other innovative health systems in this incredible learning community for health,” said Warner Thomas, president and CEO of Ochsner Health, in a statement. “Together, we can learn from each other, collaborate on new insights, and ultimately better serve patients in our communities while advancing our united vision of saving lives and improving healthcare through the use of data.”  


New information continues to emerge about the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly related to vaccine efficacy.   

For instance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published information on its COVID Data Tracker this past month about rates of cases and deaths among fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

According to that information, in August, unvaccinated people had a 6.1 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19, and an 11.3 times greater risk of dying from the disease.  

The CDC also released data showing that vaccines were five times more effective than previous COVID-19 infections at preventing the disease.  


“Truveta was born from innovative health systems who came together to deliver an unprecedented national dataset for U.S. health,” said Terry Myerson, CEO of Truveta, in a statement. “Now, Truveta is sharing the first COVID-19 insights in the US using real-time data, representing a major step forward in realizing our vision of saving lives with data.”

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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