Digital transformation is completely reshaping all industries from manufacturing to entertainment but there’s one sector where it could mean the difference between life and death. Next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence and the network of web-connected smart products known as the Internet of Things (IoT) are making it easier for healthcare organisations to make use of valuable patient data to improve care, and potentially save lives.
For example, ‘big data’ firm Cascade3d* created a smart home management system that makes it possible to track a decline in a person’s health that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Powered by Intel Atom® processors, the Connected Care platform makes it possible for those with conditions that cause limited mobility to live more independent lives at home, while previously they may have needed full-time care. The system includes wearable trackers along with smart home sensors that can monitor humidity, smoke, and home appliances. The analytics platform combines data from all these sources to provide a fuller picture of the patient’s health, enabling remote care.
Not only can crunching patient data improve care, identify at-risk individuals and personalise treatments while reducing human errors, it can also help healthcare organisations to streamline operations and reduce spending. However, many medical facilities are currently not equipped to support the memory capacity and processing power needed to gain insights from big data analytics.
“Traditional methods of insight gathering, which often rely on manual intervention, are no longer feasible in this burgeoning and increasingly complex data environment,” says Bob Rogers, Chief Data Scientist for Big Data Solutions at Intel, in a blog post. “The key to driving more proactive, cost-effective, and compliant health services now is analytics. With the right technologies, you can turn this data into an innovation driver rather than a swamp for physicians and other decision makers to wade through”.
“The key to driving more proactive, cost-effective, and compliant health services now is analytics”
“The ability to conduct real-time analysis over new combinations of data such as patient information, genetic data, medical device data, clinical trials, drug information, and public health data will fuel discoveries, significantly improve efficiencies, and personalise care,” says Dr. Parsa Mirhaji, director of Clinical Research Informatics at Montefiore.
The platform also helps Montefiore with compliance – sticking to the strict regulations on patient data set out by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This is because Semantic Data Lake understands and effectively manages the data and applies the rules to new projects, making it easy to innovate, without any added risk. What’s more, security is built into the Intel processors at the hardware level to assist in keeping patient data secure.
“With all this insight at their fingertips, clinicians can reduce the time to diagnosis and treatment, cutting patients’ time in hospitals, and saving costs,” says Rogers. “Of course, nothing will ever replace the clinician at a patient’s bedside, but this solution can offer these busy and stressed professionals support, clarification, and cognitive prompts to make sure they have considered all the options”.
Healthcare organisations are under constant pressure to reduce costs, and are bound by stringent regulations, along with a duty of care to their patients. But the example of Montefiore shows how data analytics can be used to revolutionise patient care models, assist with medical research and potentially even save lives. While this example is specific to the healthcare sector, it offers a glimpse at how organisations across all sectors can enhance their operations by making use of insights gleaned from data analytics.
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