New age technologies are changing the world as we know it. And there is no better example of this than the impact of big data and analytics on the Healthcare Industry. Apart from helping hospitals and companies to cut down on costs and increasing profits, analytics has been instrumental in improving the quality of life by helping to diagnose diseases, determining the most effective course of treatments, and decreasing the overall mortality rate.
As Charles Doarn, director of the Telemedicine and e-Health Program at the University of Cincinnati puts it, “Our healthcare system is in desperate need of reform, and technology is one of the tools that can help. It can be a paradigm shift in how we practice medicine.”
- Prevention of Diseases – Prevention is better than cure. The latest wave of wearable tech gadgets and healthcare apps flooding the market is reminiscent of the paradigm shift on the consumer side, with an increasing amount of investments being made to maintain body fitness rather than repairing the damages of an inactive lifestyle. In a poll carried out by Accenture, 85% of the physicians say that the use of wearable tech helps to increase patient engagement by enabling them to keep a track of their daily regime. Furthermore, 73% of organizations say that they have seen a considerable positive ROI through Big Data Analytics. To expect further returns, more healthcare companies need to tweak their business plans to include big data and analytics in their long-term growth strategies by leveraging apps and wearable tech markets.
- Aids Diagnosis – Analytics provides a mechanism to analyze the volumes of healthcare data created every day and derive important insights about the ailments which would otherwise prove impossible to predict. At a micro level, doctors will soon be making use of analytics to know the complete history of their patients, thus administering better treatments. At a macro scale, access to a pool of nationwide healthcare data will help governments to spot epidemics and outbreaks, hence developing coping strategies in advance.
- Competitive Necessity – Research suggests that better integration of analytics and big data into the healthcare industry can help save as much as $300 Billion per year. And this is just in the US alone. Thus, the cost of inaction can prove costlier than the cost of action, since competitors in this domain are bound to integrate analytics sooner or later. The global healthcare data analytics market has been growing at a CAGR of 25.04% over the period 2013-2018, which has put a lot of pressure on small and big companies alike. Hence, basic Game Theory dictates that everyone has to jump in eventually to stay in the game. Implementing in-house analytics solutions such as dashboards for clinicians with necessary tools to analyze incoming data can go a long way.
- Reduces Fraud and Abuse – Costs in the Healthcare Industry are often increased due to cases of fraud and abuse which exist in the market. Such frauds can be in the form of multiple prescriptions being issued in the same person’s name, patients receiving treatment from multiple hospitals simultaneously, etc. Analytics helps to safeguard them from such abuse by using predictive analysis to detect exceptions and patterns. For example, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services prevented more than $200 Million in a single year using this practice.
- Real-time Monitoring – The actual power of data analytics can be realized through the analysis of real-time events to better monitor the health of patients. Care providers are notified of any sudden fluctuations in the patient’s conditions to help them respond to emergencies and take crucial life-saving decisions on the way. On the other hand, advanced wearable tech can detect any future hospitalization requirements even before the doctors realize the need for the same. For example, the weight of the patients suffering from obstructive heart disease can be tracked to detect fluid retention and identify the need to visit the hospital for check-ups.
- Increases Confidence – Since the decision-making process is backed up by extensive insights about the patient’s health, the management can take better decisions and be confident about the expected outcomes. This drives up efficiency and makes sure that the business environment is on the course of continuous development. Moreover, quicker business and administrative decisions can be taken which further optimize operations. The Texas Children’s Hospital was able to generate savings of $74 Million through operational improvements via Analytics over a course of just 18 months!
Big Data and Analytics is truly affecting every aspect of healthcare, giving rise to a better practice of evidence-based medicine as compared to conventional medicine. It provides an extensive 360-degree view into the health background of patients, thus facilitating pathbreaking healthcare management techniques which have never been seen before. Hence, there is an increasing need in the industry to invest in Analytics for a healthier future.