The healthcare sector is a complex ecosystem consisting of different stakeholders- patients, hospitals, physicians, healthcare staff, pharmacies, and laboratories.
As one of the most restricted sectors, the healthcare industry has remained sluggish in adopting technological advancements. However, the recent pandemic age has changed the story completely. Today, we see a radical change in the traditional doctor-patient approach.
Technology has penetrated deep into the healthcare sector thanks to tech-savvy patients and healthcare professionals. As a result, the healthcare sector puts emphasis on promoting healthy attitudes and giving better experiences to the patient.
Here, seamless and real-time access to information about the patient’s condition plays a vital role.
In this article, we are going to see the benefits of big data analytics in ensuring better data access and analysis for improved healthcare services. Before moving ahead, let’s understand the importance of big data analytics in this rapidly thriving sector.
What is Big Data Analytics in Healthcare?
The modern healthcare system puts the patient in the center and considers the physician as a partner who strives to accomplish the therapeutic process.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and other digital data of patients keep on coming into the healthcare organization in huge quantities every day. Such a massive amount of data requires the assistance of technological advancements for effective and accurate analysis. Here, big data analytics comes into the picture.
Big data refers to the huge quantity of information that comes from various sources like EHRs, pharmaceutical research, medical devices, and wearables.
Thanks to evolving technology, we have many advanced tools available to analyze this data thoroughly and get useful insights. These outcomes of big data analytics help the healthcare sector prevent the spread of epidemics, find remedies for various diseases, and bring various costs down to keep their services affordable for patients.
As per the report, the size of big data analytics in the global healthcare market is expected to reach $67.82 billion by the end of 2025. It will show a CAGR of 19.1% during the forecast period of 2018 to 2025.
Let’s dig deep into the major benefits of big data analytics for healthcare organizations.
Key Benefits of Big Data Analytics for the Healthcare Sector
Leveraging big data analytics can bring many benefits to the healthcare sector. Here we mention a few of them.
- Improves Healthcare Services
This is one of the most noteworthy benefits of big data analytics for the healthcare sector. It offers excellent clinical insights to healthcare professionals and enables them to improve patient care. Physicians can prescribe effective medications and make more accurate decisions based on these insights.
Also, big data analytics can help companies implement AI technology in the healthcare sector successfully by eliminating several challenges through these valuable insights.
- Enhances Patient Diagnosis
EHR is the most important digital health record of the patient. It includes the demographics, medical history, diagnostic test results, and allergies of the patient. Physicians and other healthcare professionals can access EHRs in a secure way.
Also, they cannot alter the patient’s personal information but can update the diagnosis and medication. With big data analytics, EHRs can trigger notifications and alert patients about their visits, and track their prescriptions.
- Reduce Overall Costs
Another major benefit of big data analytics is a reduction in various costs. For example, healthcare providers can identify large patterns in the patient’s condition with the help of big data analytics. It helps them cut costs by eliminating the unnecessary hospitalisation of the patient and service providers can focus more on other patients where care is essential.
Also, big data with predictive analytics enables healthcare organisations to estimate the patient cost and maximise efficiency by planning their treatment carefully.
- Predicts Higher Risks
Predictive analytics is an AI and ML-powered concept and when it combines with Big Data, the combination can be a game-changer in healthcare. Both data sets and data annotation can build healthcare AI and predictive analytics can strengthen it by predicting patients with higher risks quickly.
As a result, physicians and healthcare service providers can intervene early to save them. This prediction is categorically useful for patients with chronic diseases.
- Integrates Fitness Devices
Fitbits, Apple Watch, and other fitness devices can keep track of the patient’s physical activity levels. The data collected from numerous wearable devices is sent to cloud-based servers, and physicians can use it to know the overall health condition of the patient. It also assists them to make an individual wellness program for the patient.
Fitness products with built-in analytics features can analyze the user’s data that physicians can access to know the user’s physical activities and health patterns.
- Offers Real-time Alerts
Specific medical decision support software analyzes medical data in real-time to give instant alerts. These alerts help healthcare service providers make better decisions in writing prescriptions.
Doctors insist on using wearable that can collect the patient’s data continuously and send the same to the cloud. Doctors can access this data as and when necessary to prescribe medicines.
How to Ensure Data Security in the Healthcare Industry
Data security remains a top concern in a highly regulated healthcare sector. Though this industry has strict laws regarding data storage and access, it is one of the biggest victims of data breaches and leaks in various industry sectors. When we implement big data analytics in the healthcare sector, it is necessary to address the challenge of protecting the security and privacy of the patient’s confidential data.
Big data analytics service providers can establish necessary configurations, perform risk assessments, conduct audits, and give training to healthcare employees on the best practices to safeguard confidential data in the healthcare organisation.
Big data analytics and other emerging technologies like AI and ML can provide healthcare institutions with real-time patient insights from huge data.
You can reduce overall expenses and improves healthcare services significantly with the help of actionable insights generated by big data analytics. When it comes to enhancing diagnosis and generating real-time alerts, big data analytics can remain useful. However, big data analytics service providers need to ensure the security of EHRs and other confidential data of patients by using several proven techniques and practices.
Vipul Makwana is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Silver Touch, a leading digital transformation consulting company that provides end-to-end AI/ML, Blockchain, Big Data, and Analytics solutions. He’s keen on reading about new technology and marketing.