My friend, who thinks I know everything about healthcare because I work in it, asked me if I had downloaded any apps that predict heart attacks. And the questions kept coming:
- Isn’t your smartphone set to monitor your vitals, so you and your spouse can get alerted before a stroke?
- Why do you still have to take your dad in for check-ups?
- My grandmother can have telemedicine video chats with her home-health nurse. She’s also able to get alerts from her medication administration and dispensing solution when a med is missed. What’s next with tech enabled care?
Much has already been written about the role of data analytics in healthcare. After all, healthcare organizations collect enormous amounts of patient statistics, right? These same care providers utilize systems that analyze relevant health data allowing them to identify patients with “hidden” health issues to both promote wellness and prevent adverse events.
Electronic health and medical record systems now capture clinically discovered and patient-reported information. This data is being integrated with diagnostic test results; hospital and physician visit feedback and physical as well as historical facts. All of those details are now being matched with socioeconomic data aggregated by public and private entities. That mash-up of info shifts what was just data into a clinical asset for caregivers. Given this convergence of patient information and doctor diagnosis data, is it any wonder why tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Google are entering the healthcare market? Data is creating a “sky is the limit” window of opportunity in today’s healthcare landscape.
On top of this emergence of data, the Trump administration announced the launch of a new initiative where patients will also take control of their own healthcare data. Called “My Health E-Data, the program aims at transferring access to individuals all their healthcare records. CMS Administrator, Seema Verma, announced that patients would have anytime access to their information, as well as the ability to take their data with them, from provider to provider.
Utilizing analytics to discover quality improvements has helped provider organizations also understand how data analysis can improve care coordination while minimizing unnecessary expenses. As health care models shift away from fee-for-service and begin to move more towards value-based care, hospitals, providers and insurance companies will leverage data even more for more effective ways to treat the populations they serve.
Healthcare organizations have come to realize the power of data. When studied and analyzed, it can help them innovate and lead. Leveraging information for population health management now identifies hidden patterns presenting caregivers with actionable information. This all has many companies updating their strategies for incorporating use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) capabilities toward the health industry’s next stage of tech innovations.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for Silicon Valley’s solutions to our healthcare challenges. If nothing else maybe drones will help.
Alex Veletsos, Ed.D, CHCIO, Vice President, Information Technology