Datashop Blog

Technology changing the landscape of Healthcare

Last week, I happened to be in a situation where both the director of enterprise applications and medical quality care of one of the largest hospital organization in Los Angeles invited me to join a social venue. “Thank you for taking the time out and showing me this place”, I said. To which he replied, “I am never too busy for sharing ideas and especially with a young organization like yours who is chasing for implementable ideas that can help eliminate the pain areas of hospitals and it’s administration”. He shared some of the significant number of knowledge soundbites geared towards opportunities in healthcare in the most direct and honest way.

Tensions specifically in healthcare

The reality is that there are some healthcare organizations that are interested in being disruptive. The key is to find those partners who are really willing to push the envelope to do things differently, because the vast majority of the healthcare profession does not want to innovate. Statistics suggest that over 50 percent of doctors are going to retire within the next 7 years. That 50 percent of doctors, they don’t want to do anything different for the next 7 years. Most of them hardly care about mobile health and digital health records. The focus lies here is to train the current young cohorts going through medical school, so they can be the next vanguard of innovation in healthcare.

Big data in hospitals

We got a population that we serve. And we are collecting data on those people in that population and putting it into a data warehouse. It’s really coming from multiple different data sources (encounter data, financial data, claims data, demographic data and market data) in the healthcare ecosystem. The World Health Organization and others have shown that claims and clinical records typically contain data that accounts for about 20% of a population’s health outcomes. Person-level social determinants of health account for the remaining 80%. The data and statistical methods used would perform the task of analyzing risk and predicting outcomes using clinical and claims data combined with social determinants of health at the level of individual patients; much more than a traditional risk score.

Empowering an entire care team

Things that we are most excited about are new tools that begin to sit at that interface between the patient and the system. Tool that collects data on a population of diabetic patients and matches you with health coaches.  Data is being collected but there is a system that has smart algorithms and coaches to basically help people manage their health. A sort of empowers an entire care team, but sitting between the care team.

The metrics of behavior change

When we are looking at the results of the outcome metric, we may be looking at improved quality of care, reduced cost of care and increased engagement. I believe we are going to start to see these current systems forced to redesign the way they do things because money is intrinsically tied to their success or their failure on this, because it’s all been fee for service. Obamacare has started forcing people to look at outcomes and not transactions.

Data donor

If the National Institute of Health (NIH) is doing a study on Hepatitis F and you happen to have Hepatitis F, then you should be able to donate your data to the NIH and let them have whatever they want to do with it because you want an answer to your problem and you want that to go to science at large. The challenge here we are facing is transformational bucket for cleansing data, mapping data and standardizing in terms of nomenclature. We imagine someone adding semantic meaning to these data, by mapping things to some of the code sets that exist, which is a huge challenge.

At last, as we moved forward to clink the wine glasses saying cheers, he mentioned: “I have to say, it’s a pleasure always talking to young organization like yours, because you understand what standardization is, you understand what interoperability is and you guys are thinking hard about how to weave all of the essentials elements of patients together in a thoughtful way, so it’s a pleasure to talk to someone who understands the challenges that we are dealing with.”


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Sanchit Somani

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