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Monday, February 6, 2023

Honing the Weapon

As we know, the pillars on which our healthcare system thrives have changed drastically over the recent past. Whereas, the old medical setup was largely fragmented in its features and could only boast a limited amount of reliability, the new arrangement has already established itself as something robust and refined. A large part of it is, of course, orchestrated by technology, but what we don’t mention enough is what’s really happening on a more granular level. By this point, we don’t need to be told that medical sphere has completed its transformation to become one of the biggest exhibitors of technology, and we are also well aware that this transformation has been hugely positive from a holistic standpoint. However, what are the factors that basically drive this new age of healthcare? What elements do we plan on using to lay the foundation for that next generation of medical field? If we look at the institutions that belong to this sector, we will see how artificial intelligence is making a new leap every day. We will see how virtual reality is basically rewriting the way things are done around the block. We will see how telehealth is reshaping the way care is delivered to the patient. Nevertheless, there is one more piece of technology that has all the attributes to define the future of healthcare. It’s the all important data.

The medical sector has no dearth of data. In fact, the influx is so extensive that at times the sector struggles to keep it organized, but this huge batches of tough-to-organize data also holds the key to sector’s next chapter. Ever since IoT became a thing, the data amounts have shot up; however a lot of it is unstructured data. During a recent panel discussion of medical experts at HIMSS21, Tej Anand, a professor at The University of Texas, even went on to say that by lacking standardization with data, we have created 3 Rs. These 3 Rs are redundant, rework, and reconcile. This theory explores how we keep on doing the same thing again, and upon realization we correct it, and when it doesn’t look good even after correcting, we make our peace with it. The futility of this process costs us important opportunities all the time.

The experts pointed out glaring need for stakeholders to work together on standardized data sets. Furthermore, there was a call to focus more on actionable data than anything else, and to achieve that, the experts panel put forth a suggestion of reassessing the kind of metrics we use on daily basis. While discussing about data’s significance, the experts also made their predictions regarding what’s next for healthcare and they jointly agreed upon becoming interoperable and swift with data circulation is something that the sector should look forward to next.

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