An Example: Big Data and Health Care

As we all know, many diseases are caused by patients themselves, leading unhealthy lifestyles; smoking, drinking, eating excessively, and the wrong foods, not exercising, etc. These behaviours overload the healthcare system, and contribute massively to costs.

Combining patient medical data with lifestyle information can deliver better patient outcomes and lower costs

The patient has to get involved in a long-term goal of good health, by changing behaviours.

The overall goal is to individualise patient care and provide robust, predictive analytics – to improve outcomes, reduce readmission and create new preventative strategies.

Health Care providers can also take advantage of the patient’s relationship with technology, apps and even gaming to gather data and provide patient advice.

From Wired Magazine:

Mobile apps, scales, and activity trackers that beam data they collect to the cloud are helping doctors and hospitals keep tabs on their patients and inform treatments. Insurance and electronic medical records companies are investing in and partnering with tech outfits like RedBrick Health and Audax Health, which encourage consumers to use activity and health tracking tools and upload the data to their platforms.

In any business, there are four broad kinds of “data application areas” – product & services, operational efficiency, business insight and “Data as a product itself”. Privacy and data security are of course paramount.

Here are some possible project themes for “Big Data” application 

  1. Enhance existing operations and outcomes
    • Improve patient understanding via (e.g.) lifestyle analysis from external (social) data sources
    • Use predictive re-admission modeling and analytics, and prioritize high-risk patients
    • Identify at-risk social segments/individuals, develop robust preventative and care strategies
    • Identify broad care patterns and disease trends to seek improvement in both services and outcomes – e.g. segment by lifestyle, demographics, geography and clinical diagnosisTrack doctor (and nurse) performance for feedback and continuous improvement
    • Track doctor (and nurse) performance for feedback and continuous improvementEliminate waste through efficient service delivery, consistent and simplified processes
    • Eliminate waste through efficient service delivery, consistent and simplified processes
  2. The patient experienceTrack the care pathway for patients, in real time, and share the information with patients (e.g. create an online system for both patients and doctors to track activities pre appointment, at the Clinic, and during treatment)
    • “Join up” all patient communication – online, telephone, doctor records, forums – to both inform and engage the patient in a consistent way across all touch points
    • Provide patient / doctor discussion forums as an extension of “pull” thinking
    • Incorporate the patient’s existing use of bio-medical tracking and exercise devices
  3. Competitive advantageCreate more robust KPIs via analytical understanding
    • Build thought leadership via evidence based healthcare and social insights
    • Consider creating and leading a UK model with other “private” providers to integrate claims and clinical data so capturing a national dataset for analysis
  4. New business opportunitiesIdentify opportunities via joining patient and lifestyle data with NHS and Open Data
    • M2M (Machine to Machine technologies) to collect, monitor, and store healthcare information without human intervention to reduce cost and improve outcomes
  5. Medical research
    • Unlock insights in clinical research by identifying macro patterns and micro responses