Healthcare Platforms: Personalization vs Data Analytics 

The significance of the challenges while handling healthcare data is coming to light now, more than ever. Healthcare professionals are concerned about the medical data management of their care facilities and are also inclined to adapt technology to store, share & securely regulate ‘medical treasure troves’ to minimize human errors and eliminate care-coordination problems and limitations of paper medical records. But, as ‘a boon comes with a curse’, healthtech adaptation has up-heaved cybersecurity and data protection concerns in healthcare systems. 

From unveiling the faux data analytics to the concept of Personalization in healthcare, let’s get started to know – how the use of healthcare data can change the flow of care practices?

Healthcare is rigorously expanding its horizons using technology. And, while moving forward with healthtech tools it is anticipated to enhance access to care, better clinical workflows, patient experience and clinical outcomes. For smooth healthcare processes, data is the key and when healthcare data management seems complex, some healthcare facilities try to restrict themselves to conventional age-old practices, while others adapt the half-cooked practice management softwares. Either way, care delivery units are likely to get exhausted in Practice, Patient and Data Management challenges due to their traditional or outdated approach. 

A practice management solution is one of the basic necessities to ease out the healthcare processes and enhance patient engagement. As patient engagement has gained increasing prominence in the last decade, soon the majority of care facilities will be picking the most suitable ‘SOFTWARE’ for their healthcare facility. But, operating on a care delivery or clinic management platform should not come with a price of DATA SECURITY!

Believe it or not, this affects patient engagement as well!

Layering of Theft – HealthTech Companies & Medical Data

Healthcare is transforming. This remapping is driving the healthcare industry towards a new direction of innovation while managing and accelerating data processes. However, the many ‘silk roads’ adopted by certain healthtech organisations have proved to be far from the ‘good intentions’ for the human kind. In simple terms – while filling up basic details at a listing website, the patients or the healthcare professionals barely notice the trap they are getting into. And, with ‘proceed’ click, every word of created medical data is sent to the company servers ready for yearly analytics or shared on the ‘dark web’. For money, ofcourse! 

It is estimated that — Healthcare records on the dark web are worth around $50(~4000)/record which is 6 times more valuable than credit card details that are worth $ 6-7(~500 Rs)/card.

Shockingly, listing companies are still able to lure care professionals at the cost of readily handing over their medical data through the cracks in legalese. 

Promises vs Reality —

Listing websites promises easy care accessibility to anyone at anytimeThey only cover urban population in India
claim to bring down the transactional cost for patientsPatients are anyway paying for trips to pharmacy and diagnostic centers other than consultation fees
Intents to reduce conventional healthcare problemsUnable to reduce fragmented patient care or enhance care personalization

Patients today are proactive towards their health more than ever. 85% of patients say that the more relevant information they get, the more they would trust their doctor and the more they would adhere to the treatment plan. In an age where patients feel like they shall be getting the best help tailored medical attention, medicos need a platform that —

  1. can enable them to reach patients without geographical and language barriers. 
  2. provides continued care for chronic patients, who cannot travel for follow ups.
  3. facilitate preventive care administration
  4. can spread awareness in the time of disease outbreak 
  5. allows them to enhance point-of-care in remote locations
  6. Keeps their patient data secured and only be accessed with authorization. 

Speaking of personalization as the driver for change in healthcare, think about moving –

from Prescriptive to Personalised Medicine.

Would a 14 year old boy shop for the same clothes as his grandfather? Probably not. But when they are unwell, they are likely to receive the same medical treatment, irrespective of their many differences. Something, we have been practising for centuries.

Based on broad population averages, our existing “one-size-fits-all” approach often misses its mark with respect to treatment outcomes. Imbalancing the process of standardisation in medicine and affecting the health of billions, in a way we can’t even imagine. We all are known to have slightly different genetic make-up than one another and great minds of the healthcare industry are tirelessly working to figure out how different people develop disease and respond to treatments? In the past few decades, while making significant progress in medicine, an innovative and challenging concept of personalised medicine(PM) evolved to be the game changer. 

Designed to facilitate care based on one’s unique genetic make-up, personalised medicine is the potential answer to the limitation of  traditional medicine. And, a new hope for medicos by assisting them in:

  • focusing more on disease prevention than driving the treatment on the on-set of parameters of the disease.
  • identifying disease susceptibility.
  • enhancing disease detection.
  • skipping the trial-and-error drug inefficiencies while saving precious treatment time. 
  • customising disease-treatment/prevention strategies.

By tailoring medicines to each person’s unique genetic makeup, it is revolutionising global healthcare to be more precise, predictable and powerful. Furthermore, customising healthcare systems towards better disease prevention, more accurate diagnoses and safer drug prescriptions. 

And, where do we stand?

If they are running cohort-based analytics on the data created in your clinic, they are seeing and using that data. Period.

Kartik Vijaywargi, Founder, HArbor Vision.

HArbor Says: 

Personalising patient care capacitates healthcare facilities to provide care at the best of a patient’s interest while assisting medicos in receiving case-specific understandings and administering care accordingly. However, a care facility’s data in the hands of a healthtech provider violates doctor-patient confidentiality. It is not only unethical but is the start of a ‘scandal’ that ends with filling pockets and marketing the bulk of ‘personal’ patient data. So to speak, this data isn’t helping anybody other than its scavengers. 

If a healthtech platform claims to facilitate informed clinical decision-making via performing analytics on patient data, it is a theft, which should be avoided from the get-go!

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