Modern technology is transformative and disruptive. It’s uprooting industries from retail to manufacturing. This is because, in addition to being much more efficient than ever before, it’s also introducing a multitude of new ways to get things done. Data analytics and machine learning, for example, alongside a steady stream of ingested data can provide incredibly accurate insights on just about anything. In business, it can help you discern which target audiences are best to focus on. For consumers, it can do things like help you save money or cut down on energy consumption. But the real impact, the sector where it’s most crucial, has to be healthcare and medical.
Today, hospitals and healthcare centers are under increasing pressure to reduce costs, despite a growing demand for improved performance. Achieving such efficiency seems almost impossible, yet modern technology can make it happen. Healthcare administrators and professionals can tap into a powerful, ever-growing business intelligence system to gather actionable intel and crucial planning insights.
Imagine playing a game of chess, and knowing exactly what moves your opponent is going to make, three or four moves ahead. That’s the kind of strategic benefit predictive analytics, machine learning and related technologies can offer.
eCare21, for example, is a remote patient-monitoring system that can be used to monitor and review various health stats. Information is collected from patients using a series of smart devices like Fitbits, Bluetooth sensors, and smartphones. The data is then processed and presented via an administrative dashboard, where doctors and health professionals can review the real-time info. This allows them to keep an eye on patients who are sometimes hundreds of miles away. It’s a form of “telehealth” or network-based health services, only made possible through modern tech. And it’s all powered by digital information or data.
How else can data analytics help in the healthcare industry?
Predictive Analytics can Increase Diagnosis Accuracy
By tapping into predictive algorithms, systems can help physicians and doctors make more accurate patient diagnoses based on ingested data, statistics, and historical info. Figuring out what’s causing chest pain, for instance, can be difficult. The first thought may be a potential heart attack, but chest pain can also come from strains, stress and anxiety, poor diet and bad posture. Therefore, physicians often have a tough time discerning whether to send a patient to an ER or hospital.
But a predictive analytics system can be used to quickly extract information from patient documents and compare it to past data to enable more accurate detection of potentially fatal issues. The system can help medical staff, based on a comparison between current patient info, various symptoms, and historical data, whether or not someone is in dire need of medical attention.
Telemedicine and Remote Attention is Now Possible
Doctors and physicians are worn thin these days, dividing their attention among a growing number of patients. That’s especially true for various specialists who are in high demand. This makes it difficult to not only manage the patients they already have but also work new potential patients into their schedules.
Telemedicine or remote healthcare can help address these challenges. Thanks to a variety of mobile apps, online tools, and voice or video networking platforms, healthcare professionals can meet with patients face-to-face without actually being in the same location. In fact, there are mobile apps available where you can see a doctor online and get prescriptions for common ailments like the flu and allergies.
Mordor Intelligence predicts that the global telemedicine market will surpass $34 billion by 2020. It’s a rapidly growing market with lots of potential.
When healthcare professionals step away from a patient, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are taking their attention away anymore. Smart devices and remote monitoring systems can be used to collect and deliver real-time data. A doctor could be all the way across a hospital campus and still see the heart rate and current vitals of a patient who’s hundreds of feet away.
Better yet, data analytics systems can be used to provide preventative and predictive insights. Say a patient’s vitals begin dropping slowly while a doctor isn’t present. A remote monitoring system can send alerts to the appropriate professional who can then rush to the aid of the patient before anything even happens.
Advancing Pharmaceutical Research and Treatment Plans
Several research companies, including BERG Health, are using data science and data analytics to build algorithms and predictive systems to better treat major diseases. BERG focuses on the cancer medication market and is currently using data to create a profile on effective medicine. This allowed them to develop the BPM 31510 drug, which helps detect and trigger the natural death of cells damaged by cancerous tissue.
In short, known data when compiled and analyzed appropriately can provide a wealth of insights on the treatment of major health concerns. We can learn better ways to combat them and develop better drugs and treatments for affected patients.
We know chemo is one of the best ways to treat certain types of cancer. It’s also incredibly damaging to the human body, causing many additional issues or symptoms that can negatively impact a patient’s life. What if we could find a way to improve chemo treatments, mitigating or eliminating some repercussions of its use? This is nothing more than theoretical at this point, but data analytics could be used to do something like this. Through ingestion of historical, current and situational data we can further improve healthcare, drugs, and treatments for all.
In the end, it’s easy to see why data analytics is so crucial to the healthcare industry. It’s future hinges on the use of modern contextual data, its related technologies and optimized reporting. Improving the healthcare field requires growing our knowledge, which is precisely what data analytics helps us do.
In fact, it’s not a stretch to claim that with the right data, we can effectively cure or treat any known or unknown ailment the human race will encounter.