Five ways analytics technologies are revolutionizing health care

Posted by Nitin Mittal and Michael Brooks on June 30, 2017

We have grown comfortable with the automation of daily functions such as booking flights, online shopping, and moving funds between bank accounts. But the newest generation of technology offers much more. By enhancing human thoughts and actions, cutting-edge analytics capabilities are forward looking and prescriptive, enabling a technological revolution that impacts many areas of the health care industry.

This analytics revolution is transforming patient care, the very heart of the health care industry, as illustrated by five examples we have seen recently in use by health care organizations:

  • Streaming data from bio-sensors reveal patterns are leading to reductions in neo-natal infection rates.
  • Internet of Things-based care platforms are automating the delivery of prescriptions to patients with chronic conditions.
  • Cognitive systems are supplementing medical students’ knowledge of subspecialties, enabling them to handle more diagnoses and freeing up attending physicians to focus on complex cases.
  • Comorbidity and service utilization data are being used to identify hospital patients who are most likely to need readmission – leading to better decisions about their long-term care.
  • Topological data analysis and cognitive analytics methods are identifying subsets of patient segments with complex characteristics who would benefit from more precise treatment protocols.

Such analytics applications are expanding rapidly across the health care industry and blending irrevocably into clinical and business workflows. For example, personalized treatments such as genomics and precision medicine depend on machine learning and advanced data visualization. Value-based care is improving health management by integrating patient data with evidence-based medicine. Big data and cloud-based collaboration are making “big plays,” such as the cancer moonshot, imaginable. And we are quickly approaching a point where transfer learning is commonplace, where machine learning functions are capable of storing knowledge gained while solving one problem and applying it to a  different but related problem.

Analytics solutions are extending game-changing innovations in back office functions. Until now, many insurance claims, for example, were still processed using rules-based logic or with human intervention, an approach that is still too error-prone and time-consuming.  Robotic process automation and machine learning applications are beginning to streamline such processes, from recording data to making final decisions on claims, cutting costs, and accelerating processing.

With analytics revolutionizing the health care industry, health care leaders can stay in front by addressing key questions:

  • What new choices are available through emerging cognitive analytics technologies?
  • How will we prepare for the new era?
  • How will we define success in a changing environment?

How will analytics create new challenges and value opportunities for your organization? We’d like to hear from you.

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