Industry Overview (continued)
Q&A With Gus Gilbertson, Product Manager for LUMEDX
Part 2 of our new series. In this week’s installment, we continue our overview of the role of analytics in the healthcare industry.
Q: There’s been an increased focus on big data in other industries recently. How is the healthcare industry responding?
A: Data management is becoming an increasing focus in healthcare. Electronic Medical Records, HL-7 feeds, imaging systems, genomics, labs, and medications are all being gathered and increasingly mined for insight into health risks and outcomes. With the growing use of health, consumer, and business data--and shifts in regulatory guidelines, data governance and data resource management are growing in importance in healthcare.
Q: How is the healthcare industry different from other industries when it comes to data analytics?
A: In some ways, the EMR has been a black hole sucking in data for years, with limited options for analysis. Increasingly, a variety of tools are getting access to that data, and it is being supplemented with edge systems to create a fuller view of patient and population health.
In addition, different segments of the industry each use big data in different ways. Everyone uses big data to market to consumers. Payers and providers use it to identify care patterns. Pharmacies use it to better understand patient health and risks. Labs use big data to conduct more tests faster and cheaper, building a more complete picture of patient chemistry. Researchers use big data to help target therapies to specific sub-populations, or even to specific patients. Researchers and population-management teams are using big data to help target therapies to specific sub-populations, or even to specific patients.
Finally, regulatory bodies continue to grow their understanding of the Medicare population and how new therapies are affecting patient health and longevity. Service providers continue to use automation and natural language processing technologies to reduce service costs.
Q: Where do you see healthcare analytics going in five years?
A: Five years will come and go quickly, but I expect care quality measures will become increasingly public. Specific populations of chronic disease patients will find targeted communities that bring the fruits of big data to care patterns. Automation of diagnosis and risk profiling will make us all more keenly aware of our health.
Telehealth will become much more mainstream, supported by a variety of apps and home diagnostic solutions. In addition, healthcare risk profiles and the outcomes different risk factors influence will become a more prominent topic as individuals try to better understand how their health compares to that of relatives and the rest of the population, and look for opportunities to improve health, quality of life, and longevity.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of Spotlight on Analytics, where we’ll explore the financial challenges facing healthcare today. Part 1 of the series is below.