Transfer Pricing Associates

Data and Healthcare

post Tuesday February 12, 2013


As healthcare costs continue to spiral out of control, especially in the United States. The healthcare industry must actively work for ways to more effectively treat illnesses. One area of recent technological advancement that has the potential to revolutionize medical treatment is the integration of data gathering and data implementation within treatment. As gathering data becomes more efficient and widespread, medical treatment and healthcare has begun to implement new technologies in order to provide more effective treatment of illness and prevent further complications.

There are many examples of how data that has been gathered is improving healthcare for a range of individuals. A primary field of medicine that is improving in diagnosing and anticipating complications is in the care provided to children. A recent project involving IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, utilized the power of the computer and information from a live stream of each heartbeat of a child. The data was then used to uncover potential health concerns in the child before visible symptoms appeared. When employing the data from the heartbeats, physicians were able to predict an infection as early as one day before normal. This advancement could pay tremendous dividends in times when a young life is hanging in the balance.

Additionally, using motion sensors and other data compiling resources are used to provide better analysis of geriatric care. Sensors in homes and facilities of the elderly are now being used to predict activities that are related to falls or other accidents for homebound individuals. Another study being conducted by the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri has tracked sleep patterns and changes in other behavior that are typically related to an accident or a medical emergency. The data that is collected by the various resources is then analyzed by complex algorithms that are making sense of all the information.  

Because of the rising costs and potential cutbacks on healthcare spending, the medical industry is working to become more efficient and predictive in treatment. The implementation of the large quantities of data is leading towards major changes in treatment. The ultimate goal of changes in health care is to create predictive analytics. Predictive analytics would allow for a reduction in diagnostic treatment and more efficient healthcare.

It is clear that as our resources to utilize the massive amounts of data collected, countless industries will be changed by these advances. Healthcare is a rapidly evolving industry and one that is in position to be positively changed by these information breakthroughs.

Source:Financial times

Image source: Free Digital Photos

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