How AI, IoT and ‘Information Enlightenment’ are Transforming Healthcare

Updated on March 23, 2019

By Rikin Patel

Healthcare organizations are shifting to information-driven services and a focus on digital patient experience. To move the industry forward, they will need strategies and organization-wide engagement aimed at eliminating information silos, and modernizing workflows and processes, so they can provide timely, cost-efficient and actionable treatment options for patients. Healthcare transformation is about fusing information and insights into the fabric of every patient touchpoint and every interaction across the healthcare ecosystem.

Patient data has become incredibly powerful — offering new insights that combine personal, social, population and research data to derive and deliver insights at the point of care for better outcomes and lower costs.

Read on for three digital trends that are playing out in healthcare — and how to benefit from them.

Action at the edge disrupts healthcare 

In healthcare, data from the edge will come from “the human platform” — through sources like biometrics, wearables, implants, brain interfaces and consumer devices, such as digital voice assistants. These devices provide valuable information about health/diet/fitness, habits/mindset, consumer behavior, emotions, senses, patient vitals, genetics and brain patterns that, when combined with clinical data, provide actionable insights.  

As a result of this flood of data from the edge, healthcare and life sciences organizations have begun to implement platforms that will allow them to ingest the information, contextualize it and integrate it back into the care delivery workflows.  

Next-gen IoT platforms enable new discoveries 

As the healthcare industry transforms to value-based care and becomes increasingly interconnected, digitalization is a key differentiator that will enable healthcare organizations to transform delivery of care. 

Today, healthcare providers must have the digital capabilities to ingest massive amounts of data from diverse data sources and perform robust analytics to make it accessible and actionable.

Analyzing these insights from multiple sources of data will result in more precise diagnoses and treatment plans. No longer are diagnoses based on simple one-to-one correlations, but rather, on thousands or millions of multidimensional correlations, making it possible for health organizations to achieve positive outcomes faster, with increased efficiency and reduced cost. 

Additionally, scale changes the rules; scale changes everything. The combination of cloud, deep neural networks and explosion of data will enable new care models. For example, a physician might determine that a patient with low blood pressure, a high red blood cell count and a certain genetic makeup will be more susceptible to Bisphenol A toxicity. When doctors use AI and machine learning to analyze data from millions of patients, they can spend less time searching for the most effective treatment and more time applying it. 

Healthcare enters an age of Information Enlightenment 

“Information Enlightenment” will transform personalized care by guiding patients and physicians on strategies that they can use to improve health conditions in real time. For instance, rapid access to real-time data about a diabetic patient’s glucose levels and physical activity could be combined with longitudinal data from their lab results to automatically recommend beneficial behaviors and dietary choices.

As healthcare transforms to become more scientific and more consistent, many new care models will be outside the reach of most physicians because of the volume of data and the unique holistic insights that data will provide about complex conditions. Millions of data points will go into diagnosing a condition and monitoring the progress of a therapy or prescription, well beyond the capability of any human to adequately consider.

New platforms will disrupt existing value chains, many of which have information properties that lend themselves to being able to shorten the time to make decisions. Nimble API-driven platform environments will be able to add, associate and organize structured and unstructured data to create a system of insight. Investing in a digitally enabling, data-orchestrating platform will support advanced analytics solutions and help drive decision making and efficiency throughout the entire organization.

Final thoughts 

As digital capabilities continue to revolutionize healthcare delivery, innovation is key to enabling new insights that substantively influence decisions and actions and, therefore, drive better outcomes. This will boost proactive wellness and prevention, and contribute to a global healthcare ecosystem that promotes health, well-being and better outcomes for all.

Rikin Patel is CTO for DXC Technology Healthcare, Americas.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.