The healthcare industry is known to generate and utilize large amounts of data. Over the last decade, the amount of big data has increased as pharmaceutical companies, the federal government, and other entities have aggregated healthcare statistics and research into medical databases. As a result, the volume and variety of healthcare data have pushed traditional data management techniques and capabilities to their limit. Big data analytics provides a new way for organizations to manage the massive data available and develop actionable insight for the benefit of the population.
Big data is expected to revolutionize healthcare through many ways such as disease prevention, reducing readmission rates, facilitating better outcomes, and improving data transparency. Data analytics within health organizations are also expected to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare provided to the population. Here are some ways in which firms within the healthcare industry can leverage big data.
Data Management and Sharing
Healthcare costs have been increasingly on the rise, with hospitals and clinics incurring up to $1.5 million per year on duplicate patient records and data. However, due to patient confidentiality standards, cleaning up data to eliminate duplicate records was difficult in the past. Data analytics, through electronic medical record (EMR) systems, can promote effective data management by eliminating duplicate files.
Improvement in information management and sharing also allows providers to pinpoint areas where education and prevention are needed accurately. Funds and medical subsidies can be directed to specific populations to achieve a predetermined outcome. Additionally, information sharing prevents overlap and enhances the coordination of medical care. All this can significantly cut down on the overall medical costs incurred by organizations.
Different populations are at risk of various types of illnesses both now and in the future. By utilizing medical provider data extraction systems, firms can be able to segment populations based on risks for disease and take proactive steps to provide efficient and quality healthcare. Improved management of data from various sources such as the government, insurance companies, and research bodies also allows better insight into disease patterns. Accurate prediction on patterns and trends take the guesswork out of health care, enabling providers to prevent or treat diseases in the early stages.
Instead of relying on their judgment, physicians can base their protocols on scientific, plausible evidence. Data can be used to identify individualized risks and help guide patients towards tests, treatments, and lifestyle changes that will steer them towards optimal health. Long-term illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease can be prevented or adequately managed through the use of analytics.
Technology and big data are making it possible for patients to enforce preventive care. Providers can offer remote consultation services through video chats and even provide written prescriptions. Doctors can even use these systems to track symptoms, check on recovery progress, and follow-up questions that are useful for the treatment process. Organizations can also rely on big data to create online platforms where they use algorithms generated from analytics to provide individual health recommendations.
Additionally, there have emerged apps and systems that allow patients to store data regarding their health. People can use these devices to store vital pieces of information such as their own sleep cycle, heart rate, exercise, diet, and so on. Through the use of these systems, physicians can access and analyze this data to provide useful preventive health care tips for patients. Digital health monitoring can serve to lower healthcare costs and increase the efficiency of preventive care.
Positive changes are expected in the healthcare industry as organizations adopt and embrace big data. Through predictive analysis, big data can be used in the development of new drugs that will target existing and emerging illnesses. Real-time access to health statistics will allow providers to predict where diseases originate, when, and how they can advance. The result will be improved health care, reduced medical costs, and improved quality of life for the population.