After reading McKinsey Global Institute's Ten IT-enabled business trends for the decade ahead, I began reflecting on the status of the healthcare delivery system. In the days of "Big Data", it seems as though patients have the least amount of access to their health records that capture information ranging form doctors' notes to radiology imaging results. Information about health history and status are among the most difficult category of information that one can get their hands on partially due to privacy and security concerns as mentioned in the article. However, interaction with the healthcare delivery system is not required to collect a large amount of health-related data.
People of all age groups are determined to track, record and analyze information from their use of the hundreds of health and wellness applications that exists on the market and thus creating their own set of data.
While I agree with the author of a recent NYT article "Questioning the Value of Health Apps" that users should take precaution in relying on applications that claim to provide accurate health data such as heart rate and blood oxygen levels. On the flit side, there is so much more knowledge and insights to be gained if the industry, mainly providers and services, develop a strategy to create value from the data their patients are collecting. Imagine if data from every application we used on our androids and I-phones were synced with our medical records, it would be much faster a more convenient to assess health behaviors and risks and monitor conditions in order for ongoing preventative care.
The truth is that an insurmountable amount of is data being collected by healthcare organizations today. Beyond the culture of health and medicine however health providers are finding it extremely challenging to find value in the data, especially those provided by patients via nutrition, exercise and other forms of health monitoring applications. This in my opinion has been a big setback in healthcare data analytic. Compared to the manufacturing and finance industries, healthcare is lagging behind in realizing the need of consumers and the value in fully adapting Health IT to cater to that need.
As new forms of nontraditional healthcare services like CVS' Minute Clinic begin to collect patient data from multiple sources including the patient, the industry is bound to experience a radical shift in the ways in which it can incorporate data collected by patients when making health intervention decisions. For now, the industry is barely passing the data collection stage, has yet to fully commit to sharing data and are scratching the surface of advanced analytic.