People everywhere, particularly the younger generations, have become actively involved in improving their own health more than ever before. And they’re using healthcare analytics tools to help them achieve the results they want to see. This is made amply clear by the 47k+ mHealth apps available for download in the App Store, which measures everything from heart rate, sleep pattern, calorie intake to blood pressure, and sugar level. This report from Fortune Business Inside even suggests that the global mHealth apps market size is projected to reach USD 57.57 billion by 2026.
mHealth apps have been able to provide an even more granular level of data with the introduction and adoption of wearables, and both patients and doctors alike are benefiting from this democratized data. In a press release from Stanford University School of Medicine, Dean Lloyd Minor, MD, said: “We found that current and future physicians are not only open to new technologies but are actively seeking training in subjects such as data science to enhance care for their patients”.
This huge inflow of data from wearables has also changed the way data is collected, stored, managed, visualized, and utilized. It has even caused many notable changes in the way the healthcare sector operates by opening up new avenues for the accuracy of diagnosis, the prevention of disease, tracking the effectiveness of treatment, and providing safe medications. It has proven that a patient-centric individual approach to medicine is what elicits the most effective results, rather than a blanket cure for everyone.
What is healthcare analytics?
Healthcare Analytics is a broad term that means different things to different stakeholders in the healthcare sector.
To a healthcare practitioner, healthcare analytics data can help in consulting remotely, accurately diagnosing ailments, bettering the effectiveness of the treatment they suggest, monitor their patient’s health status, and use predictive analysis to help them make decisions.
For governments, healthcare analytics services are essential to monitor and track their citizens, a feature that’s especially vital during the virus-ridden times we live in. They are able to analyze trends in the disease at regional and community levels and appropriately intervene, aiding them not only in curbing the spread of viruses but also in formulating the right kinds of strategies to mitigate large scale spread. They are also able to track fraudulent claims, mismanaged insurance companies, and illegal drug distribution.
Pharmaceutical companies use healthcare analytics platforms for research and development, sales and marketing, drug discoveries, and customer engagement.
And finally, patients can use health data they generate to stay more in control of their own choices. Having their health-related data analytics readily available means they can take the necessary steps needed to better their health and also gives them the option to work with their healthcare providers, rather than working with the old notion of blind trust.
How can data analytics change healthcare?
The vast scope of data analytics in healthcare is difficult to condense into a few short pointers. But if the most pertinent impacts it will bring about had to be picked out, these would be the top contenders for how this revolutionary technology is changing the landscape of healthcare around the world.
Comprehensive Utilization of Electronic Health Records
There is a lot of data collected in hospitals every single day. One big step forward for the health sector was for all this data to be converted into electronic records instead of physical copies – what is now called Electronic Health Records or EHR. Now imagine this being taken a few hundred steps further – what if all this data could be analyzed to leverage the best possible use of all this information – using healthcare analytics for quality and performance improvement?
Reducing Preventable Harm
“Preventable harm” is defined as the presence of an identifiable, modifiable cause of harm – medication adverse effects, central line infections, and venous thromboembolism for instance. The huge amounts of data that are generated and stored in hospitals can be analyzed to provide crucial answers to why these happen. This enables doctors to make better decisions, resulting in much better patient care. This hospital found that they reduced preventable harm by 40% after they decided to operate in a more data-centric fashion.
Yes, you read that right. Data analytics can help the world completely eliminate life-threatening diseases or pandemics like COVID-19. For instance, the project Visualize No Malaria, initiated by a renowned NGO partnering with the government of Zambia, aims to completely eradicate malaria from the country. The project is focused on using data to meet its goals and has trained healthcare workers around the country to use data to track, report, and treat malaria before it spreads. They also use data collected to figure out where crucial supplies need to be provided first, avoiding wastage of these resources by distributing them where they are not needed. The same strategy can be implemented to control the spread of COVID-19 – by tracking, monitoring, and isolating potential positive patients, and ensuring PPE are delivered where it is most crucially needed.
Improve Computational Medical Treatment
Computational Medicine is an emerging discipline that leverages sophisticated software, computer models, and analytics to figure out the root causes of disease and find the most accurate diagnoses. With sufficient data and analytical tools, you can build models that answer complex questions in the medical world like how certain diseases develop, how environments shape a patient’s wellbeing and how biological systems change from healthy to unhealthy states. To read more about how computational medicine utilizes data analytics to enhance the way doctors detect and treat diseases, you can read this paper from John Hopkins.
Empowering The Patient
With data being democratized, patients will have the information they seek at their fingertips – they will be more likely to stick to a doctor-prescribed health plan when they are aware of the actual numbers in the game. Data analytics, if shared, can lead to collaborative physician-patient decisions which allow the patient to feel more in control, achieving far better results from the treatment planned.
Considering the pace at which individuals, as well as enterprises across the globe, are adopting digitization, data analytics is set to revolutionize the healthcare industry in the immediate future. With a more patient-centric approach, medicine will finally be seen as an approachable and democratic domain, and more and more individuals will become eager to make healthy choices, once they see data-driven results making a different world over, that is also accessible to them at their fingertips.
At Experion Technologies, we have ample experience in developing world-class healthcare solutions that adhere to healthcare regulations around the world. If you have a remarkable idea for a data-driven solution in the healthcare sector and are looking for an IT partner, drop a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org