healthcare IT analytics

How Big Data and Analytics are Reshaping the Healthcare Industry

Bryant BrewsterWritten by | Cloud, Data Intelligence, Featured, Security

As industries of all shapes and sizes begin to recognize the benefits of data analytics, the healthcare industry is one of the largest players to start leveraging its capabilities. Healthcare companies have been collecting records for ages, although it’s only recently that they have started to dive deep into their troves of data and turn it into actionable insights. According to global consulting firm North Highland, 83% of healthcare executives made analytics solutions one of their top priorities in 2018, with the global healthcare analytics sector expected to reach $34.27 billion by 2022. With an ever-growing global population, full of longer lifespans and increasingly complex illnesses to combat, healthcare is embracing data analytics in a major way.

Improved Patient Care

As medical records become increasingly electronic and wearable health technology grows in popularity, the healthcare industry’s data production has boomed to account for roughly 30% of global daily data production. Healthcare companies are turning to analytics software that can handle their immensely large collection of medical records to analyze and create personalized healthcare plans for patients.

A hospital can take a patient’s unique genetic makeup, lifestyle and environment and compare it alongside thousands of similar instances to be able to prescribe optimal treatment plans and better predict future illnesses. Keep in mind when communicating with customers that the likely end-user in this situation is a health care practitioner, and not an IT expert. Make sure to emphasize the ease of use capabilities of your analytics platform through offerings of features like visualized dashboards.

More Efficient Research and Development

Pharmaceutical companies invest billions in a lengthy process to research, develop and bring a drug to market with an industry-wide success rate of only 14 percent, according to a study done by MIT. Drug development researchers are now teaming up with analytics software providers to increase the efficiency and return on investment of their research and development. Instead of manually testing thousands of molecules a day, researchers are using GPU-accelerated predictive modelling to simulate the interactions of molecules within the body to speed up the process.

Drug research and development faces a major obstacle in recruiting enough eligible patients for their clinical trials, with only 39 percent of sites achieving their enrollment targets, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. Analytics providers are poised to enhance this process by enabling researchers to evaluate mass amounts of patient records to identify ideal candidates for trials based upon specific medical history, genetic makeup and even social media interactions.

As these companies work to stay agile and provide scalability in their computing, more are moving to a hybrid-cloud environment looking for seamless and readily available access to their information. Having the ability to integrate their analytics software into a hybrid-cloud environment will be a key selling point.

Insurance Fraud Protection

With healthcare spending at a record high, so are the fraudulent acts designed to capitalize on it. The FBI and CDC estimate that as much as 10 percent of all healthcare spending is lost to fraud each year in the United States. It can be tough for insurance companies to detect every illegal instance such as performing unnecessary medical procedures, misrepresenting the extent of an injury or even completely fabricating a claim.

Insurance providers are fighting back by employing machine learning software designed to keep up with the constantly changing fraud schemes that traditional detection methods are slow to discover. As the number of claims continues to grow, machine learning is more capable of tracking new patterns, assessing risk scores and detecting and flagging unusual behavior than ever before. The faster that fraud is detected, the faster it can be flagged and investigated, leading to a less arduous and expensive process. In your messaging, make it clear that the provision of real-time data through your analytics platform, as opposed to batch processing claim records after the fact, will provide a more efficient and cost-effective method of fraud detection.

When engaging with customers, don’t limit yourself to the IT managers. Speak with the physicians, sales executives or purchasing departments as every organization has a unique set of decision makers who each have unique obstacles to overcome. While the complexity and potential severity of these problems may be vast, analytics vendors are well-positioned to arm the healthcare industry with powerful, agile and easy to use methods to solve them.

Interested in more tips on big data and analytics as they apply to the healthcare industry? Reach out to our experts or visit

By Bryant Brewster
Market Intelligence Analyst

Last modified: May 29, 2019