Deloitte Spots Six Trends for Healthcare Data
As data volumes grow, so too does the term “smart,” which refers to tools that can more easily find a needle of meaning from a haystack. And as we move from using these data for hindsight to foresight, Deloitte has mapped out six key trends helping to make this possible.
As Brett Davis, a principal at Deloitte, explains, “The future is already here. It just hasn’t been evenly distributed yet.”
Based on Deloitte’s research, shaping that distribution and use for healthcare are: expanding definitions of health, demanding demographics, rising pressure from government, converging industries, expanded connectivity, and greater transparency.
Already we’ve seen the definition of medicine expand as doctors turn to genomics to help inform their diagnoses and treatment plans, but as diagnostic tools, at-home monitoring and other key assets expand in their capability and popularity, Deloitte is expecting that the information that doctor’s need is already changing. On the one hand many doctors already have greater context to guide their diagnoses, but on the other, Dave Biel, Deloitte’s National Technology Principal for Life Sciences and Healthcare points out that for certain issues, patients may not even need to go to their doctor anymore.
But with these added tools comes added pressure, says Dan Housman, CTO of Recombinant by Deloitte. From individualized risk assessments to genetic screenings, he says these changes have in turn been game changers, which in turn means that we are starting to expect to see more meaning and greater results from our data.
Yet simultaneously, security and privacy demands surrounding patient data has built a hurdle over which the industry must climb. Biel says that the result is added cost to the system in the initial stages, particularly if healthcare providers are using the cloud.
This gets increasingly complex as healthcare enters the domain of public policy and regulation, particularly when electronic medical records are brought up.
“The basic goal in terms of medicine is to not do harm to your patients,” Housman says, noting that this needs to carry over to analytics, where privacy is a major cause for concern.
Still, deriving meaning from information is becoming easier as various relationships converge, allowing everyone from payers and providers to pharmaceutical and device companies to exchange data. This is made all the more important as biomedical tools that allow doctors to check your vitals even while you’re at home and they’re in the hospital become commonplace.