Technology and IT systems have become vital pillars to the success of millions of businesses throughout America. With the widespread emergence of electronic records and data storage, it is no surprise that our healthcare system has utilized such tools to maintain and store electronic health records. in an article for Big Data, Mary Ann Liebert writes, “the ability to monitor, record, analyze, and integrate information about human biology and health, at scales ranging from molecular interactions to disease prevalence in large populations, is transforming biomedical science and human health.”
Such data-driven approaches to healthcare can help researchers develop predictive models for diseases using pharmacy records, laboratory tests, and other available information. In addition, Liebert states that individuals can collect large amounts of data through personal tracking devices. Wearable devices are ideal for targeted users based on their own data. Her research on the influence of data in the healthcare system demonstrates how digital information can help patients on an individual basis, but also suggests that analysis of large amounts of data could lead to systemic reform and improved preventative care.
Furthermore, Dr. Donald Voltz, in his article “Patient-Data Pipeline: The Missing Healthcare IT System” states that, “the key is the understanding of how patients’ data flows through healthcare IT systems and building an infrastructure that optimizes that flow of data and information.” He believes in a collaborative system of a healthcare data sharing that connects various interacting providers and patients. This will link data and allow it to flow between all stakeholders. The availability of such data would transform the healthcare system, making it easier for doctors to effectively treat and diagnose their patients.
As a result of healthcare systems adapting to data-driven approaches, we are seeing more hospitals increasing budgets for IT related projects. Accordingly, hospitals are investing more money in technologies like Cloud based storage, analytics, patient engagement, and more.