Healthcare Analytics Advances Medicine - InformationWeek

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4/28/2017
02:05 AM
Jessica Davis
Jessica Davis
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Healthcare Analytics Advances Medicine

Healthcare analytics has improved patient care and outcomes, and advanced our understanding and treatment of some of the trickiest diseases and conditions. If only we could get a handle on our medical bills.

The healthcare, life sciences, and medical fields all offer huge potential for advancement through the application of analytics, artificial intelligence, and other data science programs. Researchers are applying advanced analytics techniques to cancer research, precision medicine, and helping to predict and prevent conditions and diseases in patients.

That's the idea behind this month's Cartertoon by Jon Carter, which acknowledges the amazing advances we've made in science and our ability to diagnose and treat what ails us, medically.

The doctor is talking to a patient in a hospital bed and says: "Thanks to our analytics software, we can predict with complete accuracy any complications you may have in the future."

That's pretty amazing, and the insights that analytics provide in healthcare just gets more accurate as the months and years go by. Healthcare organizations are among the pioneers in really leveraging analytics to improve healthcare outcomes. There are so many success stories, and so many stories yet to be written.

The cartoon also acknowledges one of the big frustrations that remains in healthcare, however, on the other side of the coin. That's while the scientists are progressing to ensure better healthcare outcomes, we are still grappling with the right way to price and pay for healthcare as a society.

That issue is under scrutiny right now as President Donald Trump is working to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that was put in place by his predecessor, President Barak Obama. Congress and the new president are struggling to find a compromise that can accomplish a long list of conflicting interests. Meanwhile, if you go to the hospital, or to a doctor for a procedure, it really is often difficult to get a straight answer about what something costs. You only find out after the fact when the bill arrives.

I guess it's no surprise that an issue such as healthcare pricing and billing, so entwined as it is with the politics of the day, would be deemed by our cartoonist to be the most impossible part of the healthcare process. We can treat you for your ailment.  We just don't know what it will cost or who will pay for it.

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