Digital Salutem
14 March 2022

The Future of Healthcare Data

By João Bocas
The Future of Healthcare Data

The future of digital health will be a more patient-centered approach where data is shared and systems are interoperable

The Future of healthcare data and digital health will be a more patient-centered approach where data is shared and systems are interoperable. Technology continues to play more of a role in healthcare. This is all part of the drive to bring collaboration and efficiency to healthcare records, improve safety and increase treatment options.

The healthcare data that we collect about our patients puts us in an interesting position. We have real value for them through their medical history, but we have no right or obligation to them or their families unless they opt-in, which means that once we start collecting data on patients through our own devices they can choose not share it with us at all (or not at all).

This has been going on for decades with insurance companies collecting data from insurances, social networks collecting data from users who want it on their profiles, and so on.

So what does this mean? It means that once you start gathering information about your patients you need to make sure your information isn’t being shared across different companies. For example, if you have a device that collects location information while you’re using it: if Google Maps is integrated into your operating system (it doesn’t have to be), then you shouldn’t use any other sort of map app on your phone (other than Google Maps) nor should you hold Google Maps ransom if someone else uses it differently than you do (other than asking them not to use it), because no one wants their data sold off without any control over how it’s used across multiple different apps.

There should also be some control between providers too: some form of permission system should exist between providers and patients so that patients can control what information they want shared across providers – be it insurance companies, drug companies or any other party that has access to usage data about their specific patient(s). This way though there should also be some way for providers like hospitals or doctors’ offices

How to Prepare For the Future of Healthcare Data

Healthcare data is an increasingly important part of the digital health puzzle. As healthcare organizations digitize and standardize their systems, patients, clinicians and providers need to be able to work together to reduce costs, improve care and increase efficiency.

Many healthcare providers are already updating their systems for digital inclusion, which means that the data in your system can be shared with your peers via a cloud service or mobile app. It also means that you’ll need to be able to find what you want – something that’s particularly valuable when you’re working with national databases like CDC’s Healthcare Quality Reporting System (HQRS) or Medicare’s Clinical Data Exchange (CDE).

As part of this effort, healthcare providers need access to faster and more accurate data to help them make better decisions about patient care. But those data are not always in your control, especially when it comes to security breaches. How do you ensure that your data is safe? What can you do if someone breaks into your computer system?

Digital transformation has been happening everywhere in healthcare since the turn of the millennium (the year 2000), but it may have finally reached its peak today. With new technology and greater user expectations across all sectors of care, maybe it’s time for doctors, patients and employers alike to have a conversation about how digital transformation will impact everyone involved in health care.

What Should Doctors Be Thinking About Healthcare Data

In the last few years, the pace of change has accelerated and the pace of disruption has escalated, as the number of digital products and services grows exponentially. This is not limited to software or even computer-based technologies — there is a real convergence between digital platforms and clinical practice. However, in health care, these changes have been particularly rapid.

A recent survey by Medscape shows that 44% of physicians are concerned about their patients’ ability to access health information electronically, though this figure is expected to decline over time as more information is available. Surveys from other organizations have found similar results: 28% of physicians said they were concerned about electronic transfers (such as electronic medical records), 21% were concerned about data privacy concerns, 30% were concerned about data security issues (for example through encryption), 35% felt that electronic records would be a barrier to patient care, and 23% felt that healthcare system interoperability would be a barrier to patient care.

These are only some of the challenges we face in delivering patient care using technology. There are many others being addressed as well.

These upcoming challenges include:

  • Better pain management: Medical devices and sensors will contribute to better pain management
  • Efficiencies: Providers will need to find ways to reduce costs while maintaining high quality
  • Data security: Data security should become a critical issue for all providers
  • Personalization: Expertise can be bought or built; personalization will be essential for this
  • Accessibility: The more people can access healthcare services, the more accessible service will be
  • Ambulatory care: Ambulatory care facilities must adapt if they want to remain competitive with primary care practices
  • Comparison shopping: Competition among providers will increasingly drive accessibility and value
  • Active listening/engagement: Patients want access to information on their condition when they need it most
  • Patient-centered care versus “sick-care” systems: There will be a new balance between an emphasis on self-care vs standardized treatment based on pathology results or other clinical findings (as opposed to individualized treatment based on symptoms);

What Should Patients Be Thinking About Healthcare Data

Healthcare Data is an integral part of a successful digital health strategy. In order to be successful, we need data to be analyzed, analyzed, and acted upon. The recent trend towards digitization of healthcare records has made this possible. Data can be used to enable patient-centered care and more personalized treatments, including insights into the most effective therapies for different diseases. However, we must remember that data are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to healing. Data alone cannot ensure a successful outcome or provide answers that are just as definitive as those provided by a clinical trial.

The recent trend towards digitization of healthcare records has made this possible. Data can be used to enable patient-centered care and more personalized treatments: however, we must remember that data are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to healing. Data alone cannot ensure a successful outcome or provide answers that are just as definitive as those provided by a clinical trial.

See my post in which I talk about how data in medicine is often used incorrectly and absent any context around it making things worse: Doctors do not have time to analyze your data… doctors don’t have time for something like “Data Analysis”

Digital health is a term that has been thrown around in the last few years, but is still not a real thing. It is not a fad; it is not something that will go away. There are many different kinds of digital health, but all share some very important things in common:

  • The ability to generate information and data (for example, patient records and medical reports)
  • The ability to collaborate across teams, including clinicians, researchers and operations
  • The ability to share information with other systems and devices such as telemedicine, telehealth and smart home technologie

Digitalhealth is all of the above. The digital health industry is still very nascent; even if you think you are starting to see signs of it here and there (I’m thinking of the recent announcements by some large companies, like Salesfore, on their digital health initiatives), there are still some big problems ahead:

  • Big companies like IBM or IBM Watson are doing most of this work (especially IBM Watson)
  • Being able to actually use these technologies effectively means you need to have people who know about them (which again points at the lack of powerhouses in this field)

In other words, will we ever see a day when an enterprise CEO can look at his top-of-portfolio executives and say “Hey guys, let’s start working on a project together where we can’t only talk about it but act on it too?” I don’t know if we will or not. But I do know that the current state of healthcare technology readiness needs do much more than just talk about digital health. It needs implementation now.

And implementation requires change. And change requires people: people who want to be part of this new way that is coming into life, big or small ,whether they want to be part of it or not. In other words: digital transformation in healthcare is the positive impact of technology in healthcare. The future of digital health will be a more patient-centered approach where data is shared and systems are interoperable. Technology continues to play more of a role in healthcare.

Contact us for more relevant details of healthcare data. Please get in touch via phone +44 (0) 203 3620421 or via e-mail: info@digitalsalutem.com

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