3 Keys To Harnessing The Data Deluge With AI

3 Keys To Harnessing The Data Deluge With AI

Destry Sulkes
MD/Chief Data Officer, WPP Health & Wellness

Remember when healthcare was hungry for data? Squeezed by pressure to reduce costs, improve outcomes, and demonstrate value, healthcare leaders demanded access to real-world data. Fast forward to the present and it seems we’ve reached the promised land where health information flows in abundance from proliferating EHRs, clinical and claims datasets, health apps, wearables, and consumer behavior data. That flow, however, has quickly become a flood that threatens to drown us in data.

Case in point: increasingly overstretched and understaffed, 94 percent of physicians say they are deluged with ‘redundant’ and ‘useless’ data. Meanwhile, the growing population of tech-savvy consumers is frustrated by physicians’ inability to access and review the data generated by their wearable devices. Marketers, constrained by HIPAA requirements, are steering clear of new services that may appear to leverage data and technology in a risky fashion. We now have access to oceans of data, but how do we harness it to improve patient care, meet critical business objectives, and deliver better health outcomes?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds enormous potential to unleash the power of all this data and provide personalized, timely insights and recommendations to both physicians and patients. Leaders across the healthcare ecosystem are taking note and the boldest are venturing into this brave new world. Stakeholders committed to innovation and challenging convention will likely be the first to reap the rewards of AI. How do you become a first mover in AI?

Boost your data, analytics, and AI IQ. With AI poised to completely redesign every aspect of the health and wellness sector, bold first-movers are educating themselves on data and analytics, cognitive computing, algorithms, and more. We’re seeing a proliferation of events and conferences like the upcoming LIGHT Forum designed to help healthcare leaders adapt their businesses and lead the AI-driven transformation of the healthcare system.

Champion the integration of health and consumer datasets. Consumer behavior data including demographics, real-time location, purchasing, and media consumption are available and being used to deliver seamless customer experiences by AI leaders such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. In contrast, health data have traditionally been difficult to access due to paper patient charts, a lack of standards, and integration barriers. However, the growth of EHRs and interoperability across the industry is freeing health data. Connecting consumer and health data is now possible and, with AI methods, yields deep insights that can power new health communication strategies for everyone.

Carefully consider ethical challenges. If AI proves to be the silver bullet that fuels the continued evolution of healthcare, it is our collective responsibility to build and maintain open visibility into new tools to ensure we enhance population-level health outcomes while strictly preserving individual-level privacy. Privacy concerns are paramount and must be the foundation of all ongoing data collection and use scenarios. Groups like the International Association of Privacy Professionals are working to facilitate increasing transparency in this area, and provide oversight and certification programs crucial to the field.

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