Data creation has seen a dramatic increase in recent years due to the inclusion of advanced technology in every industry. VCloudNews’ infographic revealed that 90 percent of all data in existence today was created in the past two years. This is why big data is being referred to as big data.
All of this comes down to the fact that there is simply too much data available to analyze with old techniques. Big data can bring about significant cost savings in multiple industries, particularly health care. Medical professionals rely heavily on information from patients. They need to have access to all information, from the patient’s current medications to their allergies.
“Healthcare is a prime target of big data analytics.”
Researchers quickly realized that big data analytics was a great target for health care. How can experts in the field use these analysis techniques to improve patient care, and increase savings for hospitals? Let’s take a closer look.
There are a lot of ways to save money
It is important to determine how much money can be saved by big data analytics and where those savings could come from. It is difficult to pin down an exact number for a single organization, so McKinsey, an advisory firm, decided to perform a broad analysis of all aspects of the U.S. healthcare system.
McKinsey reported in this study that medical institutions in the United States could save up to $300 billion annually by implementing big data analytics within their current operations. Where would this money come from? McKinsey said that a large portion of these savings could be made by reducing waste in current expenditures.
McKinsey points out that the two biggest money-suckers in the health care industry are clinical operations as well as the research involved in creating drugs and other medical devices. These two combined would amount to $273 billion of the $300 billion McKinsey estimated could be saved by the introduction of analytics.
The goal is to increase efficiency. It is often inefficient to treat patients. Doctors are more concerned with saving the patient than ensuring that they are cost-effective. Big data analytics could give medical professionals a unique view into past treatments and allow them to use this information to lower the cost of treating current and future patients. Similar methods could be used to improve research and development, using previous knowledge about enrolling patients into trials to optimize future enrollment.
The Obama Administration demonstrates the power of big data
Although evidence-basedhypotheticals are certainly important to the development of any trend, the proof really in the pudding for big data. The Obama Administration’s successful campaign against medical fraud is perhaps the most recent example of the benefits that analytics can bring to healthcare.
Although most medical professionals are honest and trying to make a difference within their communities, there are some who are just looking to make a quick buck. These scammers often use bogus Medicare and Medicaid claims to defraud the state in the hope of getting reimbursed for treatment they did not provide. This is a problem because it’s difficult to find doctors who do this, especially if they are working with patients.
Eric Pianin, of The Fiscal Times, said that this was exactly the type of fraud that the Obama Administration set out to end. Between fiscal 2013 and 2014, $42 billion was saved by big data analytics.
Pianin says that one of the most interesting ways the Obama Administration managed to pull this off was by looking closer at where these fraudulent doctors were located. Researchers were able to determine if an abandoned building housed a “medical office” by analysing past problems. This is a common tactic used by scammers to hide their fraud schemes. Big data analytics was able to sniff them out.
Big data clearly has a lot of potential for health care. It remains to be seen how this trend develops, but it is clear that analytics has a lot to offer healthcare.
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