Quite like the finance sector, the healthcare technology industry is also highly data driven. Therefore using that data to provide better care and services to patients is imperative for healthcare providers. Big data is the term often used to refer to structured or unstructured data that is generated from different sources. The healthcare industry is one where doctors and other professionals rely heavily on patients’ medical records. Moreover, the current health care systems also have different kinds of patient records coming in every day including pathology results, MRI and CT scan reports, clinical notes and prescription slips etc. Storing and utilizing that data effectively is definitely not the job for outdated methods for data storage and processing.
Herein comes the role of big data and its applications that are significantly impacting healthcare technology.
Electronic Health Records
Elaborate medical data needs to be handled efficiently and with an innovative approach. Hospitals are rapidly moving towards digitizing patient records and other medical data. The concept of electronic health records or EHR is that every individual patient has their own defined set of records that allows both the patient as well as healthcare providers to access their data with a mere click of a button. These files of individual patients are easily modified or added to by their doctor or physician and can be shared with ease and security.
Reducing Unnecessary ER Visits
The emergency room in any hospital management or clinic is perhaps the most crowded one. It also requires the most care and vigilance on part of the healthcare providers. Hospitals need to tend to ER patients effectively and as quickly as possible. But reducing them in the first place is the goal that can be achieved by leveraging big data.
If a patient comes to the ER, the doctor should be able to access his/her previous medical records that can allow them to diagnose the patient as soon as possible. Hospitals are now investing in AI applications that leverage big data to provide ER doctors access to patient records. This can reduce duplicate testing and save time for the doctor as well as the patient.
Securing Patient Identities
Another impact that big data has for healthcare IT is that it can actually help healthcare providers protect patient data. Through applications that use machine learning and AI, hospitals can now detect fraudulent activity instantly. With the help of a document verification solution and biometric authentication that uses such technology, the hospitals can verify patient IDs to make sure care and treatment are being provided to the right person and not someone who is using stolen credentials. They can, therefore, effectively reduce medical identity theft, thereby protecting patient information.
Fighting Terminal Diseases
Terminal illnesses like cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease have complicated treatments. While all treatments are monitored and looked for their effectiveness, there needs to be a system that offers a better analysis of different treatments.
Researchers are now working on systems that use big data analytics to enter results from clinical trials and other treatment plans that different specialists use. That data is then analyzed by computerized systems to evaluate the success rate of each of them.