The Unsolved Puzzle of Healthcare

Sagar Arora
Wed 15 June 2016


The vast proliferation of data and the exponential increase in technological complexities continue to transform the way industries operate and compete. It seems like a few years back industries were doing a lot of manual activities,  then suddenly a revolution hit the industries. What was that revolution? Do we have an answer?

Whether it be retail, finance or healthcare industry all of them are struggling with same issues. How to operate on this volumetric data, this huge heap of unknown data? In every industry we are collecting data to make life easier. In healthcare industry we are aggressively collecting patient data to understand the behaviour. After the inclusion of EMR industry in the market, the  doctors were able to learn from their patient data, but today vast majority of them are perpetually struggling.

Doctors study medical science and perhaps that could have been enough to understand the patient and the patient behaviour. But maybe not? The doctors have now started facing issues as they have to deal with black box data. We all know that the EMRs don’t offer a standardized format, like different coding schemes, are used to depict hemoglobin range in EMR X and EMR Y. Is there is a solution for this?

The most demanding and time-consuming task for the IT staff and administrators is to integrate the data coming from disparate sources, from different EMR’s for a single patient. Collecting that data requires a two-way interaction or interoperability between those EMR’s. This has been the most daunting task and a perpetual struggle in the healthcare scenario. When will the healthcare truly evolve?

Every year millions of people die from chronic diseases, recently the famous American Olympic boxer “Muhammad Ali” died due to Parkinson. We can’t be accurate in our approach but we can be in one direction. That direction is understanding and generating meaningful insights from the unknown heap of data. If doctors are able to predict the probability of disease from the patient’s history then they would be able to detect the diseases at an earlier stage. There is a possibility, isn’t there?

Integrating data from various source like EMRs, PMS, Claims management system, financial system and standardizing and structuring it to bring on a single platform will give a holistic view of the patients past, present and future. That is what doctors want. They want their data to have a two-way communication. This can only be achieved if we are able to channelize the flow of this data into an integrated data lake. By applying predictive modelling on this lake, we can perhaps revolutionize the way doctors see their patient problems.

So now do we know what is the revolution? Integrating data from various sources is a revolution in healthcare. Applying predictive and prescriptive model to this integrated data can generate actionable insights which can solve the complex riddles of healthcare. The day we are capable of tackling the chronic diseases like Parkinson, that day we will sincerely illuminate the vision of the doctors.  

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