Divining the Future of Healthcare with Predictive Analytics

Guest post by Sanjay Govil, founder and chairman, Infinite Computer Solutions

Sanjay Govil
Sanjay Govil

It’s impossible to see the future with certainty, but one branch of technology is playing a leading role in helping institutions and industries predict, on the basis of empirical research, the future behavior of participants and the outcomes of their decisions.

This relatively new branch of tech – predictive analytics (or PA) – has made inroads at a steady clip in the marketing, manufacturing and financial services industries. It is now gaining traction in healthcare as well.

Although debates around its ethical applicability to healthcare persist – the debate around data privacy, for one – the consensus emerging across the board is that with the right skills and in the right hands, PA has the power to effectively address challenges in the healthcare ecosystem in ways that human intelligence alone cannot.

Let us examine a few recent examples.

The power of PA

The Gold Coast Health Hospital in Southport, Queensland, Australia, dramatically improved patient outcomes and hospital staff productivity by applying a predictive model that was able to project with 93 percent accuracy emergency admissions before they happened. By analyzing admission records and details of sundry circumstances that led to patient admission to the ER, hospital staff were able to know how many patients would be coming in, on any day of the year, what they would be coming in for and methodically plan procedures that were now for all purposes elective rather than urgent.

Similarly, the El Camino hospital in California was able to drive a dramatic turn-around in its high rate of patient falls by collaborating with a tech company. The company, Qventus, linked patient EHR to bed alarm and nurse call light usage to derive an algorithm that was able to alert nurses in real time about the high-risk patients under their care and the exact times when they were most likely to be vulnerable. The result was a whopping 39 percent reduction in falls, improvement in patient health outcomes and a dramatically improved reputation for the hospital.

In fact, it isn’t only hospitals that are alive to the potential of analytics. Tech companies too are cognizant of how some of the newest technologies being developed under their roofs have immediate relevance to healthcare outcomes. In a paper published earlier this year, researchers associated with Google demonstrated how deep learning algorithms were able to correctly identify metastasized cancer tissue with nearly 90 percent accuracy as compared to just 73 percent when done by a human pathologist.

Continue Reading

The Infinite Journey, from Telecom to Healthcare

Sanjay Govil

Guest post by Sanjay Govil, founder and chairman of Infinite Computer Solutions

When Infinite Computer Solutions was founded in 1999, it was started with little more than $1,000 and ambition. We launched with a telecom tech focus, as I worked for Verizon and IBM before, and this was the industry I was connected to.

What was clear even early on was the explosive possibility in the healthcare domain. The move from a fee-for-service payment model to outcome-based managed care is driving huge opportunities for companies in this space. We looked to establish ourselves in the industry quickly, made possible by our early telecom successes. We saw that we could leverage the commonalities between the two verticals, including evolving standards, convergence of numerous systems, high transaction volumes, data security concerns, and a larger user base.

When we first started in healthcare, we helped companies by improving existing processes using Infinite’s IP: our first healthcare customer was a Fortune 500 business that administered Medicaid programs in a couple of states. We helped them transition from a legacy Medicaid Management Information System to a more modernized and automated one.

We expanded quickly to take advantage of the other exciting developments in the Healthcare space that was driving patient-focused care. For example, soon after that first customer, we also helped another develop an electronic medical record/electronic health records product, implemented across various providers in the U.S.

We’re especially excited and focused on the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) trend for patients that need chronic and acute care. We’ve had our proudest successes providing technology that helps continue the link between doctors and their patients outside a hospital environment, leveraging electronic health records to make it easier for patience to receive care from home and allowing doctors easy access to complete patient history.

Continue Reading