Applications of Data Science in Healthcare
Technological advancements in Data Science and Big Data have led to a revolution even in the field of healthcare. Since the amount of data being generated each moment in the domain of healthcare is enormous, big data applications, as well as data science technologies, are very much relevant today.
Earlier, healthcare records used to be stored as hard copies, the practice of which has become more and more difficult to maintain since the amount of information to be stored is dynamically increasing each moment. Hence the need arose for a tool that can serve to gather, sort, safe-keep, and interpret enormous volumes of data.
The different types of data that get created in a clinic or hospital can be classified into three.
- Clinical Data
These are the prescriptions, medical notes made by nurses, pharmacists, and doctors, and also reports from the laboratory, medical imaging, insurance departments, and pharmacy.
- Patient Data
This includes all the patient records which are stored electronically.
- Sensor Data
These are the machine-generated data which are derived from monitors, website traffic, social media posts, emergency care data, articles in medical journals, and news feeds.
The possibility of maintaining these health records electronically has literally revolutionized the healthcare domain. All aspects of clinical decision-making, as well as patient care, can be very much improved by the availability of structured data which can be easily tracked.
Applications in Healthcare
- Data Solutions
A comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) or electronic medical record (EMR) is one single file which could contain all the up to date clinical data, patient data as well as sensor data of each individual patient which can also be accessed across any network.
- Anti-cancer therapy
Predictive analysis can be done using data science technologies so that habit patterns and pre-existing conditions can be used to predict the vulnerability of an individual to cancer.
- Patient monitoring
Patients in intensive care units and emergency rooms are usually plugged into devices which have sensors to monitor continuously their blood pressure, respiratory rate, and heartbeat. Even though it is impossible for humans to keep consistent track of this, machines can be programmed to respond to even a slight change in the pattern.
- Hospital Administration
Data science technologies and big data applications aid in providing a hassle-free flow in administrative processes. Healthcare providers have access to data from various sources and hence it becomes easier to plan and manage resources in the event of major epidemic outbreaks or even natural calamities.
- Promoting Business Development
In the case of hospitals which are a part of medical tourism and corporate groups, data science helps in framing business plans to improve business. Smart solutions help in improving the profitability of hospitals for the management and staff, which indirectly improves the quality of patient care as well as customer satisfaction.
- Fraud prevention and detection
Data science helps to prevent largely a wide range of human error which can happen in various stages of health care. Also, fraudulent insurance claims can be prevented.