Access and action: healthcare systems put big data to work


Across industries, companies are now managing more data, almost 14 petabytes on average, according to Dell Technologies’ Global Data Protection Index 2020 (1 petabyte equals just over one million gigabytes).

In healthcare, providers and patients want to see more with all of this data. Some 75% of healthcare consumers want to work with providers on wellness goals, according to a Deloitte study, and 85% of physicians expect interoperability and data sharing to be standardized.

The pandemic has highlighted the value of innovative technologies for collecting, managing and obtaining information from the vast data stores that hospitals collect, guiding them towards improved care and adaptive clinical workflows.

“The pandemic has been a huge validation of the track we were on and the investments we made in data management,” Lamm said. “I think we’re going to see a gradual shift in the years to come towards more trust and acceptance of artificial intelligence and machine learning, new digital health capabilities, and more surveillance-like tracking. patient populations. “

AI powers more healthcare solutions

Health systems were already exploring the capacities of emerging technologies to create actions from their data before the pandemic. For example, hospitals have used AI to detect sepsis, predict patients at risk for certain diseases, and project the duration of surgeries.

Clinical research can be time consuming, says Matthew Kull, IT director of the Cleveland Clinic. The ability to conduct research in a digital realm before moving on to human trials can shorten the discovery cycle. AI can evaluate large amounts of data in ways that humans cannot.

“As we can begin to manage the holistic picture of our patient’s data in the digital realm, I think we’re going to become much more proactive in how we diagnose and treat so that we can focus more on the good- being human rather than on the answer. to symptoms, ”Kull says.

LEARN MORE: Find out how artificial intelligence can improve patient outcomes.

Historically, finance and infrastructure have limited the processing power of healthcare organizations. Now, large cloud providers are offering access to computing power that many organizations could never have maintained in-house.

“They designed and built the flexibility on top of that calculation to cut and cut it to measure,” says Andrew Truscott, general manager of health and utilities at Accenture. “I think this is going to mean an increasing speed of clinical knowledge.”

The challenge for the industry is its plurality of systems that encode data differently, adds Truscott, who is also president-elect of the data standards development organization Health Level Seven International (HL7).

Truscott and Kull hope the industry will continue to adopt standards-based data models like HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. A single standard, combined with the interoperability of patient care and the prohibition of data blocking as mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act, “will allow us to exchange information much more freely, in the best interest of the patient. “says Kull.

Democratizing health data to empower people

UNC Health was already building the infrastructure to support data-driven initiatives long before the pandemic.

The healthcare system information services team had upgraded its data warehouse environment to an SAP HANA-based platform that supports data virtualization.

“The integration of a new dataset into our data warehouse platform has gone from a few weeks to now a few days,” explains Lamm.


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