Big Data Could Save Your Life

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Healthcare companies have turned to Big Data and analytics in order to improve the quality of their services and lower overall operating costs. More efficient use of patient information could lead to lower operating costs, and the money saved could be redirected towards new research and treatments. Big Data is useful in many applications, but this is one in particular that could use a huge overhaul with the help of data and analytics.

There are several ways the healthcare world can harness the power of Big Data. One example is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: they created their own software application to organize and analyze patient data, which was then used by physicians to create predictive models to direct preventative care. According to Alison Diana of Information Week Health Care, UPMC also used the software to evaluate itself, “creating best practices and scaling the most efficient and effective programs.” After developing this software for internal use, UPMC is considering commercializing it. Diana says the theory is that, if UPMC had to develop this software privately to meet its own needs, there must be an unmet need in the wider market that could be filled with the commercialization of this software.

England’s National Health Services hospitals have also harnessed the power of business intelligence and analytics software, using it to shrink reporting times and save money. Across the pond, healthcare organizations are having similar success. After using analytics software, Jersey City’s emergency services gained some significant and useful knowledge – they learned that daytime calls come more often from commercial areas, while night calls come from residential areas, enabling them to more efficiently manage their human resources (ambulances, EMTS, etc.). Virginia’s Carilion Clinic utilized predictive modeling when analyzing data within its electronic medical records system. Using this technology, heart disease was successfully identified in individuals out of a pool of 8,500 patients. This condition is extremely costly to the American public (running as high as $5 billion annually), so gaining the ability to diagnose and treat it as soon as possible could help save the public millions of dollars each year.

Implementing analytics software and new technologies will allow these healthcare systems (and many more) to improve the quality of care they deliver to their patients, while saving time and money through enhanced productivity. The future of analytics is bright within the healthcare world, especially considering that more and more healthcare organizations are turning to data to solve problems of productivity and cost-effectiveness.

This post was written by a guest contributor for MSU Business Analytics. Visit our website for more information on the MS in Business Analytics program.