The frenetic pace of change in healthcare has been hard to deal with, leaving the industry with an awe and an urge to catch, adopt and live a phase of high-end technological catalysis. Especially, the data inflow in the industry through broad adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), wearable devices, sensor implants and AI-guided clinical procedures has been tremendous recently. A number of organizations across various industry verticals are trying to intelligently map the available data to their business advantage. Actually, in an era of data tsunami, being behind the data curve can cost a lot in the long run. Especially, a complex and sensitive industry like healthcare needs to make data-driven changes a high-stake endeavour. This generates the need for data analytics and data management as a core practice to enhance outcomes at every level of the healthcare delivery life cycle.
Role of Analytics in Healthcare Transformation
Insights from intelligently-managed data using analytics has become a key tool to track different types of healthcare trends and benefit healthcare service providers as well as the patients. There are plentiful of ways, data collected from various sources, can be used for better clinical outcomes.
#1. Data can help in predictive analytics and healthcare informatics to,
- Recognize the patients who are likely to develop diseases or have certain health risks.
- Design specific wellness programs that are individually suitable for the patient for measurable health outcomes.
- Identify the loop holes in running programs that are inefficient and do not give desired results.
- Identify the cause of relapse of symptoms in the patients and prevent them.
- Optimize the resource allocation for increased productivity and throughput.
So, analytics not only improves patient outcomes, but also gives detailed insight into the clinical performance.
#2. Statistics and data collected through healthcare analytics can optimize the R&D pipeline
Medicines reach to the patients after a thorough and overwhelming process of development, clinical trials, and approval from FDA. With statistical tools and algorithms in place, the duration for which a drug remains in the R&D pipeline can be shortened.
- Patient data can be analysed to check if there has been any drug interaction in the past.
- Past effect of similar drugs can be studied to make quick decisions on enhancement of the drugs.
- Eliminate the processes that are redundant with faster and more efficient ways of drug development.
Advanced analytics can help pharmaceuticals companies in developing leaner, faster and low-attrition drug R&D pipeline.
#3. Analytics can transform healthcare industry from volume-based business to value-added business
The metamorphic change in the healthcare industry due to digitization is propelling the service providers to offer value-based care with better outcomes. However, it has not only benefitted the patients, but has also helped facility providers, payers, hospital management systems, government entities, and others.
Analytics touch upon the below areas significantly.
1. Care coordination with quick response time: Data collected through EHRs are helping in quick coordination of the service providers in emergency care or intensive care. Analytics even alert the caregivers of an upcoming readmission in the facility.
2. Customized patient care: Like customer care is vital in other industries, patient care is crucial in healthcare industry. Analytics give you an insight into the personal needs of a patient to help you design a personalized care plan to achieve better outcomes.
3. Efficient healthcare operations: Improved technological infrastructure and data analysis is helping the healthcare organizations reduce the operational bottlenecks and clinical variations. The management is now able to take informed decisions based on the health systems’ data. Doctors and clinicians manage their schedule efficiently with Practice Management Software while maximizing their output.
4. Reduction of fraud and abuse: Healthcare industry has witnessed instances of fraudulent activities like erroneous billing, wasteful diagnostic tests, fake insurance claims, payment delays and so on. Big data can identify the variation in patterns that might be fraudulent raising an alert for review.
5. Driving healthcare reform: The introduction of analytics has brought healthy competition in the industry where service providers are pushing to deliver value, not volume. The hospitals are trying to bring outcomes and not just activities.
Studying and analysing structured and unstructured data through data analytics is hugely impactful in the healthcare vertical. Big Data and AI has made it possible, in many instances, to predict diseases, prevent epidemics, manage chronic illnesses, and reduce the mortality rate.
A few of the AI’s impact are listed below:
1. Keep well: The purpose is to allow people to keep well at the first place encouraging preventive care. There are wearables which alert people when they overeat, when they sleep more or less, or when they don’t do any physical activity.
2. Early detection & diagnosis: AI can work on molecular level to spot any problem at an early stage so that it can be diagnosed on time. Study of data or behaviour over social media can spot mental disorders a person is developing. Similarly, doctors can arrive at insights by quickly referring to patient data with similar conditions.
3. Accurate treatment: AI-guided tools like visual recognition software can help radiologists and surgeons perform their task with greater precision and accuracy. Not only this, there are AI techniques that help in quick planning of radiotherapy and others which facilitate treatment recommendations based on patient’s medical records across the world.
4. Healthcare Training: AI-guided simulations can help surgeons, interns, and other professionals hone their craft without affecting the real patients. Such trainings can even be customized as per individual’s needs.
The data-driven healthcare is driving the healthcare industry to an all new level where quality, value, and transparency awaits everyone in the healthcare ecosystem.