More than Just Disruption: Where Healthcare is Headed

June 25, 2014 in In the News

Four trends of Big Data healthcare

Healthcare has been monopolized by healthcare organizations, traditional hospital operations, and large insurance companies – it is an old system. However, with the development of “Obamacare” something new in the healthcare sector has emerged. Disruptive innovation.

Similar to how Buzzfeed disrupted the traditional news sector, and how Uber disrupted the traditional taxi sector, disruptive innovation in the healthcare sector enables a large number of people who previously lacked resources, in this case healthcare, to take their health into their own hands. While Obamacare is consumed by arduous and complex politics on Capitol Hill, those involved with technology and the business side of healthcare are looking to disrupt the major, and faulty, healthcare system in order to enhance performance, enable dynamic information, and increase patient-patient, patient-doctor, and doctor-doctor engagement.

Among doctors, entrepreneurs, and engineers, there has been a clear consensus of the solution to healthcare: “moving the patient to moving the knowledge”. In other words, it’s about sharing information and data rather than shifting patients from doctor to doctor in search of the person who has the solution. Giovanni Colella, co-founder and CEO of Castlight Health, puts it in another way and writes that the cure is not in politics, or “the Beltway”, but in digital health, the cloud, and Big Data. No longer is the power to improve healthcare limited to the medical sphere. In fact, less than 20% of all healthcare companies have CEOs with doctoral or medical degrees; and in the same industry, almost $2 billion was raised in 2013. It is clear that technology is playing an ever-growing role in healthcare.

But, so what? Where does Big Data, the cloud, and digital health lead to?

  1. Collaborative care. The creation of fluid and actionable information will further allow all healthcare personnel – not just doctors – to “function at high levels of precision with highly complex care.” Crowdsourcing, patient participation, and medical community engagement are all well within reach.
  2. With the same idea, it is putting the “care” back into healthcare. With the development of health technology, doctors and patients can more readily discuss topics of health together. In addition, patient feedback will be more accessible to doctors, hospitals, and healthcare organizations than ever before, enabling the patient a chance for real impact.
  3. Opening of Big Data allows research to progress at a faster pace. With the availability and integration of dozens of data sources (medical history, prescriptions, fitness statistics, medical images, etc.) of both medical text and media, clinicians and researchers will gain valuable insight into diseases without having to do long case studies.
  4. “Transparency imperative”. Information about health care delivery–the cost of services, doctors’ pay, clinical outcomes, references prices, etc.–will become available to the general public.  This sharing of knowledge will spur even further innovation.

In the end, it’s not just the application of disruption to the healthcare sphere that will create these changes. These individual innovations will most definitely further competition within similar genres of apps and health specialties. In the long run, it will be the interoperability and integration of these innovations within Big Data that propels healthcare in the right direction. This is how the gap between sophisticated technology and the healthcare space is being bridged.

1. SFGate: “Outside tech workers try to heal healthcare”
2. The New York Times: “The Power to Cure, Multiplied”
3. ReCode: “The Cure for Health Care is in Big Data, Not the Beltway”
4. Castlight Health: “New Analysis Details Most and Least Expensive Cities for Common Medical Services”
5. VentureBeat: “7 predictions for the future of healthcare technology”
6. The Washington Post: “Price transparency stinks in health care. Here’s how the industry wants to change that.”
7. Medium: “Disrupt This: Clayton Christensen, Jill Lepore, and What Disruption Theory Has to Say about the Future of News”

#Healthcare #Disruption #HealthcareTechnology #Innovation #BigData #DigitalHealth #HCTransparency #HealthIT #HealthTech


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