Challenges such as lack of effective patient care, data breach issues, and frequent readmission engulf the healthcare sector. Addressing these obstacles is the only way forward for the industry, and this is where Big Data comes into the picture.
Big Data is an advanced technological solution to all hurdles most companies face today. It collects structured and unstructured information rapidly generated and transmitted by different sources, such as electronic health charts and medical diagnoses. So, instead of relying on manual data entry, you can use Big Data as a guiding tool to provide exemplary patient care.
With the US healthcare sector expected to reach $6.2 trillion by 2028, there is a need for Big Data more than ever. Here is a deep dive into the advantages this cutting-edge technology has to offer:
1. Proactive Patient Interaction
Patients can monitor their health outside of the hospital through wearable devices. Devices such as the Fitbit, Apple Watch, and even electronic smart hearing aids provide patients with real-time data which is accessible at any time. Some valuable features incorporated in smart devices include tracking their weight, monitoring calories, and keeping tabs on the patient’s heart rate. This can help patients become aware of their health, avoid illnesses from escalating, and detect irregularities in their overall wellbeing ahead of time.
For instance, patients suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes will get to monitor their glucose level continuously and prevent a sudden surge by taking their pills at the right time. This is one of the ways how big data impacts healthcare management by giving patients the tools to have more autonomy over their health and preventing avoidable emergencies from occurring.
Collected data is very sharable, so patients can reach out to you over the cloud and provide you with real-time records on their health. By studying this data, you will be able to suggest a more precise treatment route while bypassing unnecessary medical tests, reducing the cost of medical care by at least 40% per visit.
2. Predictive Analysis To Manage Illnesses Better
Big Data has paved the path for predictive analysis to facilitate decision-making. Predictive analysis uses complex systems to provide you with a prediction on the patient’s health using their past data.
For example, the University of Michigan’s Rogel Cancer Center is working on a blood test to predict if the treatment for HPV-positive throat cancer is working. By studying the DNA present in the patient’s bloodstream, the complex algorithm will isolate the tumor DNA and inform whether the patient is responding to the treatment or not. This will enable you to try new treatments without waiting for them to become more prominent and save patients from succumbing to painful symptoms.
Chronic diseases account for over 70% of the healthcare spending budget. One way to curtail hefty costs is by identifying chronic diseases and providing early intervention. This is another area where predictive analytics comes in handy.
Through machine learning, predictive analysis utilizes patient data such as medical history, socioeconomic factors, and past treatments to inform you of their health status. As a doctor, you will guide a patient better, help them adjust their lifestyle, and provide medication to keep their condition in check.
3. Helps In Suicide Prevention
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US alone. While science cannot pinpoint the exact cause of suicide yet, it mostly gets attributed to mental health issues. For the healthcare sector protecting and serving patients also includes saving them from self-harm and suicidal attempts, and Big Data can help.
In 2018, the Mental Health Research Network led by Kaiser Permanente researchers leveraged big data from electronic health charts and combined it with a depression questionnaire. The predictive analysis model identified vulnerable patients and found suicide attempts were more than 200 times more likely in the top 1% of American patients. With information like this in hand, you can identify and contact high-risk patients and connect them with the help they need.
When you get a chance to intervene on time, it saves lives. Big Data will allow you to analyze high-risk patients’ common signs and symptoms. You can reach out to these patients, provide mental health support, encourage them to seek therapy, and prescribe medicines to help with mental ailments in extreme cases.
4. Enhanced Cyber Security
Over 90% of healthcare organizations experience a data breach. Data breaches occur when hackers obtain confidential financial information or steal patient identities and social security numbers. A cybercriminal can earn up to $300 per healthcare record by selling it in the black market.
Therefore hospitals need to protect their systems to prevent potential attacks. Through predictive analytics, Big Data analyzes previous cyber-attacks, picks up attack patterns, and identifies vulnerabilities in your hospital system. But the analysis doesn’t end there.
Patient data is far too sensitive to be left unguarded online. Big Data will also use data mining, machine learning, and statistics to predict possible future attacks and suggest preventative methods. The Big Data analytics software will use information from sensors and cloud systems to counter the cyber-attack and deploy an Intrusion Detection System (IDS). This will help you catch cybercriminals in real-time.
Currently, over 70% of hospitals in the US connect doctors and patients remotely. However, following the pandemic, about one-third of American patients prefer virtual care over hospital visits. Telehealth gets delivered in one of three ways:
- Synchronous. As a healthcare professional, you can communicate with the patient in real-time over a computer or any smart device.
- Asynchronous. This is when a patient sends you images or messages which you can see later.
- Remote Patient Monitoring. Through wearable devices and healthcare apps, a patient sends you their vital stats, which you can keep an eye on.
When you have access to a patient’s vital signs, medical history, and medication list, you will be able to make recommendations without needing an in-person meeting. Personalized treatments will also prevent readmission since patients will have more accurate prescriptions and diagnoses and receive timely follow-up notifications.
You will also get to save on paperwork, unnecessary hospital visits, and trips to the ER, saving American patients up to $500 on healthcare. Nurses will also be able to update their electronic health charts through the cloud.
Big Data is an asset to the healthcare sector. As a doctor, you will leverage this complex technology and solve common healthcare issues. Patients also get an opportunity to become more engaged with their health through wearable devices.
You will also get to run predictive analysis to pick on chronic suicidal tendencies and build a robust cybersecurity system. Big Data also facilitates telemedicine, decreasing readmissions and enhancing personalized treatment routes. These work in unison to provide you with an advanced healthcare system.