Some months ago, I talked about the great expectations healthcare has from Big Data. Big Data finds the perfect applications in healthcare but the variegated availability of data at our disposal make the fit extremely difficult to meet. There is patient data on different computers/paper, clinical research data with pharmacies, and claims cost data with health insurers. All of them have different structures and thus are difficult to collate. There are also problems of lack of skilled manpower and high costs involved. I had concluded that there are huge expectations and the onus lies on all stakeholders not to belie the great expectations from Big Data in healthcare.
Today, everyday more and more stakeholders are collectively trying to unify these complex data source and design applications that can help us realize the Big Data revolution at the earliest. There are benefits for each of the stakeholders which far outweigh the costs for the ecosystem can achieve from bid data analytics.
- Providers and pharmaceuticals can mine the data to see what treatments are most effective for particular conditions, and identify patterns related to drug side effects or hospital readmission to make healthcare more outcome-based.
- Insurers can identify patients who were likely to experience customer satisfaction issues and provide outreach to nip those problems in the bud—sometimes three months before they’d otherwise arise.
- Governments have realized that development in Big Data not only increases transparency in the sector but also has immense implications in helping patients.
- Patients can now find the right care timely, take active roles in their treatment and have the ability to disease prevention to health and wellness.
Healthcare is replete with use cases that offer measurable results, including reduced hospital readmission, better medication management, personalized medicine, improved strategic planning and heightened fraud detection. For instance, Kaiser Permanente plans to serve 9 million people across eight regions from coast to coast through its amassed repository of clinical data. That storehouse also has information from a patient portal, ancillary systems, smart medical devices and even home-based patient monitoring systems. The integrated system reduced total visits by 26.2 percent and scheduled telephone visits increased more than eightfold.
Phemi Health systems and SAP AG have decided through the HANA platform to provide a secure system that will give doctors and researchers access to massive amounts of patient data and medical research. Doctors can now using Big Data identify patients at risk of diseases years earlier before other diagnostics at a cheaper costs than ever before.
A recent report by McKinsey summarizes healthcare stakeholders now have access to promising new threads of knowledge. Big Data holds particular promise in all areas of healthcare.
Big Data is an idea whose time has come in healthcare!
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