how data is revolutionizing the healthcare industry

Three Exciting Ways Data Is Revolutionizing the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is experiencing a largescale evolution.

The United States spends over $10,000 per capita, or 18% of its GDP, on healthcare. With further rising costs and pressures from consumers for better, more affordable care, healthcare organizations are being forced to shift toward more personalized, value-based models.

Data and analytics are the driving forces enabling these changes. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day and widespread technical advances, healthcare organizations are able to change the face of care, reduce costs, and augment patient outcomes.

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Here are just some of the most exciting ways that data and analytics are revolutionizing the healthcare industry.

Tracking Health

Wearable devices have become one of the biggest applications of IoT in the healthcare industry. According to a recent report from Business Insider, 33% of U.S. consumers use wearable medical devices, up from 4% in 2014.

Because wearable devices allow for the remote monitoring of vital signs and health markers, they can detect health problems earlier, enable healthcare providers to stay connected with their patients, and allow individuals to track their own health goals. The data collected through wearable devices are more accurate than self-reported data and can help improve the level of patient care.

  • The Apple Watch is a personal ECG, warning wearers of potential anomalies that should be looked at by a medical professional.
  • HopeBand is a wearable wristband created at Carnegie Mellon University that can detect opioid overdoses and send out an alert when oxygen levels in a wearer’s blood drop low enough.

Improving Diagnoses

Significant improvements have been made in artificial intelligence and machine learning that improve diagnostic accuracy in medicine. As a result, the market is expected to reach $18.12 billion by 2025.

In fact, machine learning and artificial intelligence programs can be quicker and just as, if not more, accurate at detecting anomalies in scans than humans are. By detecting anomalies that could be missed by the human eye, machine learning and artificial intelligence programs are improving diagnoses and ensuring patients receive the best care possible.

  • Researchers at Stanford have created an algorithm to interpret chest x-rays that is just as accurate as radiologists are and can interpret results in a fraction of the time.
  • Doctors using Viz.ai shave crucial hours off diagnosis time by using the technology to quickly and accurately detect blood clots in stroke patients before major damage can be done.

Targeting Care

It took 13 years and almost $3 billion to sequence the first genome. Both the cost and time to sequence individual genomes have since plummeted due to technological advances.

Genome sequencing enables healthcare providers to use data to optimize care for each patient that is tailored to an individual’s unique genetic profile. The development of precision medicine has been enabled not only by more widespread genome sequencing but also by big data analytics and the cloud: machine learning algorithms identify patterns and make predictions while cloud computing stores these massive amounts of data and facilitates the integration of multiple health systems to better target care to a patient’s electronic health record.

Precision medicine is most prevalent in cancer genetics. In many cases today, cancer treatments are selected based on genetic drivers of the cancer and not on the location of the cancer itself.

  • Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL is currently working with Caserta to use genomics, demographics, and trial outcomes to create models that will refine cancer treatments for each patient. This use case of precision medicine will not only minimize the risks of incompatible medicines and treatments but it will also pave the way for the future of healthcare.
  • Deep Genomics uses artificial intelligence and the genome to determine the best drug therapies for each individual.

As more healthcare providers integrate emerging technologies into their systems, traditional healthcare models will be displaced. The trends listed above will only become more widespread as time progresses.