The healthcare industry is growing at a rapid rate and the need to manage patient care and innovate new medicines and drugs has increased significantly. As a result, it has led to remarkable breakthroughs and applications of new technologies. One of the key contenders in that aspect has been the use of big data and analytics in the healthcare industry.
The applications of big data are projected to grow quicker in the healthcare industry other than segments like management, manufacturing, financial services or media. This is largely due to investments in electronic health records, practice management tools and workforce solutions.
Let’s look at 5 key ways Big Data can enhance and impact the healthcare industry.
1. Health Tracking
Big data and analytics coupled with the Internet of Things (IoT), is transforming the way we can track various patient statistics and vitals. Apart from common wearables that are capable of monitoring a patient’s sleep patterns, heart rate, exercise, distance walked etc. there are new medical innovations that can detect the patient’s blood pressure, pulse Oximeters, glucose monitors etc. The continuous monitoring of the body vitals using in conjunction with sensor data collection will enable healthcare institutions to reduce traffic in hospitals as they will be able to identify potential health risks and take the necessary steps before the situation gets worse.
2. Reducing Cost
Big data can be an excellent solution to reduce costs for hospitals that are either over or under book staff members. Predictive analysis can help to resolve this problem by estimating the admission rates and enabling appropriate staff allocation. This will decrease the rate of investment incurred by medical institutions and help manage their investments efficiently.
The insurance industry will also be able to save funds by supporting wearables and health trackers to ensure that patients do not spend unnecessary time in the hospital. It has the potential to save time for patients as hospitals will have properly allocated staff and beds available all the time. Predictive analytics will also enable cost-cutting by decreasing the rate of hospital readmissions.
3. Assisting High-Risk Patients
If all hospital records are digitized, it will facilitate easy access and help to understand the patterns of many patients. It can detect the patients approaching a medical facility repeatedly and detect their chronic issues. Such insights will enable medical staff to administer better patient care and provide an insight into corrective measures to decrease the likelihood of patient revisits. It is an excellent method of maintaining a list and monitoring high-risk patients and offering them personalized care.
4. Preventing Human Errors
Quite often it has been observed that medical professionals tend to either prescribe the incorrect medicine or dispatch a different medication by mistake. Such mistakes, in general, can be greatly decreased using big data as it can be leveraged to analyze user data as well as the medicine prescribed to them. It can cross-check the data and send alerts when it is detected, sometimes potentially out of place in order to decrease mistakes and ensure proper medical care. Such applications can be an essential tool for general physicians that caters to a large number of patients every day.
5. Advancement in Healthcare Sector
When we go beyond the current scenario, big data can also be of great benefit for advancing science and technology. Within the healthcare industry, artificial intelligence can be used to analyze large data sets within seconds to detect the correct solutions for various medical ailments. Such developments are already implemented in several medical institutions and are only expected to grow with the amount of research collected by big data. Along with providing accurate medical solutions, it will also be able to customize those solutions for unique problems. The availability of predictive analysis will help patients that are traveling to a specific geographical location by assessing similar patients in that area.
In conclusion, big data has the potential to increase the ability of the healthcare industry to:
- Predict Epidemics
- Cure Disease
- Improve Quality of Life
- Increase Preventable Care
- Begin Early Preventive Care
- Spot Warning Signs Sooner