A Booster Shot for Health Innovation: Analysis and Data Science
The healthcare ecosystem is a holistic network of providers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, medical device companies, NGOs, IT service providers, and, of course, patients. This complex mesh of the healthcare ecosystem is going through rapid changes due to changing needs and the availability of new technologies. The rising cost of patient care, a need to improve population well-being, and a drive to provide a better clinical and emotional experience have shaped changes within the healthcare industry. The Institute of Health Improvement (IHI) calls this the 'Triple Aim'1
The industry has been working overtime to realise the Triple Aim. Estimated IT investments in the sector are a whopping $25 billion in the last five years . New technologies have been at the forefront of this effort as a natural vehicle for innovation in the hopes of reducing medical errors, decreasing healthcare costs, and improving patient outcomes. As a result, a massive amount of data has been generated in the healthcare space. Although every other industry is going through a similar transformation with data, healthcare presents unique challenges in realising the potential of health data. The variety of data sources alone can be intimidating for analysts to wade through and find use cases that benefit patients and caregivers. This is where recent advances in data science are making giant strides in finding trends, patterns and unique insights.
Figure 1: The Healthcare Triple Aim
Figure 2: Untapped Potential in Healthcare
Efficiently utilising the colossal healthcare data repositories can yield immediate returns in terms of patient outcomes and lowering care costs. BA professionals have the “opportunity of a lifetime” to be able to touch the lives of patients and contribute to improving their quality of life. Business analysis professionals in the field of healthcare with an understanding of the opportunities available in data science can add immense value by providing functional expertise in identifying the appropriate business challenges that can be solved by analysing data.
1 Institute of Healthcare Improvement, The IHI Triple Aim.
2 ResearchGate, Big data analytics in healthcare: Promise and potential.