May 17, 2020

Data Analytics Improving Health Care

3 min
The use of data analytics proves to improve health care
Data analytics may be the key to improving operating efficiency, contain costs, and ensure quality care. The adoption of business intelligence and data...

Data analytics may be the key to improving operating efficiency, contain costs, and ensure quality care. The adoption of business intelligence and data analytics has been commonly accepted by CIO’s in a variety of industries, but the healthcare industry is still far behind in the acceptance of data analytics. Hospitals generally lack the appropriate resources needed to help turn clinical data into insight. The use of advanced data analytics in US hospitals was only at a 10 per cent adoption rate in 2011.

In the next five years, the used of advanced health data analytics is expected to significantly increase, according to a report Frost & Sullivan, conducted by the US Hospital Health Data Analytics Market with an estimated adoption rate of at least 50 per cent expect by 2016. With the increased use of EHR’s, data analytics seems like the next logical step in technological advancements in the healthcare industry.

The use of data analytics will positively affect every aspect of operations in a hospital. They will prove their value in analyzing revenue, operational efficiency, and staff performance. Advanced tools provide progressive real-time and predictive techniques, often provided by web-based systems that combined unrelated data across diverse care settings.

Among the varied uses for an advanced analytics tool, many care providers use analytics to identify who is at risk of a hospital admission.  Richard Merkin, president and chief executive of Heritage Provider Network says,

"Hospitalizations are very expensive and cost this country a lot of the resources we're using in health care. Imagine if you could effectively predict who was going to be hospitalized. You could reallocate resources to prevent unnecessary hospitalization and put those resources to use for cure rather than care." Heritage is currently sponsoring a competition to figure out the best algorithm to identify which patients are likely to be sent to a hospital within the next year, based on patient data. The contest ends April 2013 and the winner will get a handsome $3 million prize.

Heritage is not the only company exploring the use of data analytics tools to better patient care and to reduce overall costs. Health Management Associates, Inc. is working with partners on predicting readmission across the 70 hospitals they operate in the US. Looking for patterns in their own patient and operational data they are able to rank the likelihood of readmission. Additionally, they are trying to predict the demand for services, to help better hospitals with staffing levels.

The use of analytics will help health care providers offer more efficient preventive care. "There's a huge amount of waste in the system," says Dr. Nease, the Express Scripts chief scientist. "Advanced analytics allows you to be much more sophisticated in where you intervene and with what."

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Jun 18, 2021

Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool 

2 min
Skin Analytics uses AI to detect skin cancer and will be deployed across the NHS to ease patient backlogs

An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system. 

NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion. 

Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making. 

In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog. 

Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening. 

DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.

Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges. 

"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”

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