The analytics wave has hit the healthcare sector and the Indian healthcare industry is responding by transforming from volume to value. More and more healthcare organisations are focusing on becoming patient-centric as they continue to compete on customer experience, thereby moving towards adopting advanced technology and exploring the benefits of analytics.
Today, the doctors, can go through numerous treatment records from around the world and conduct high-speed analysis by running through millions of research papers and genetic sequencing data. Thereby, gaining insights on how to treat a patient with a specific blood group, DNA sequence or characteristic.
Further, using analytical tools, doctors can benchmark patients against past occurrences, analyze how patients with specific genes respond to different treatments, and make decisions based on facts, not depending on instincts. Earlier what could be achieved for only a small number of patients (5-10%) can now be done for a significantly increased number.
As a result, many lives are being saved as many complex and rare health procedures can be performed with more efficiency. Let’s take a look at how Big Data, Cloud and Analytics helped a toddler smile again.
Anshu fights for life
She couldn’t move her head since the day she was born. Her head weighed as much as the rest of her body. She didn’t suckle; she never even cried for food - she was lost in her own world, drifting towards what seemed like certain death.
Anshu (name changed), now 18 months old, was born with two rare brain diseases called hydranencephaly and hydrocephalus that caused fluid to accumulate in her brain. Born to poor tribal parents in Jharkhand who couldn’t afford state-of-the-art treatment, she was helpless until international donors pitched in and she was transported to New Delhi to one of the multi-specialty hospitals for a rare surgery.
Real-time analytics does the trick
The doctors in New Delhi used new a software, “Patient Data Explorer” to gather patient data from various sources such as clinical information systems, bio-bank systems, as well as text documents such as a physician’s notes. The tool also provided a summary of every patient’s medical history in a graphical timeline, consequently making it much easier to access information at any level of detail. This data was further analyzed and utilized within minutes as opposed to days.
In August 2015, when she was only 10 months old, the surgery that had just 5% rate of survival was performed successfully on Anshu.
This was carried out by inserting hi-tech stents, ultra-thin plastic tubes, in the child’s brain to drain away the fluid. Now, the size of her head has reduced to half. Today, Anshu is alive and kicking, all thanks to human persistence coupled with technology.
The head surgeon of the team that operated on the infant said, “When Anshu came here, she was highly underweight and the actual prognosis was dim. However, using analytical software, we were able to extract and analyze data from various sources. Moreover, the way it was presented gave us and other researchers surprising new insights.”
He further added that in the future, they would like to use such Analytical tools for every diagnosis and treatment because the manifestation of diseases varies from patient to patient.
Thus, the real-time Analytics software considerably improves the efficiency of medical research and has particularly been helpful in tackling rare diseases and cancer. This amalgamation of data, analytics and cloud can yield interesting results and breakthroughs for the mankind. The only thing that remains to be seen is how fast the Indian healthcare will adapt the analytics softwares as a norm.
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With more than 10 years of experience in the field of journalism, Muqbil Ahmar is a Senior Editor at Deskera, the leading business software company in the Asia-Pacific region. Armed with an M.Phil in Science Policy Studies, he looks at technology from the prism of society. He believes technology has to add meaning to the lives of people for whom it was created in the first place. He wants to bring about better understanding between the two worlds so that they do not act against each other but in mutually beneficial ways so that the world becomes a better place to live in and to leave for future generations.