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Data Science

Health data explosion creates unprecedented opportunities

December 8, 2015
The Explosion of health data: Unprecedented opportunities to improve and personalize employee healthcare.
Chief Executive Officer, Retired

The explosion of health data is simultaneously exciting and challenging.  For the very first time, the data to create a comprehensive, 360-degree view of each patient and subsequently develop a personalized, long-term care plan is available.  Yet data without insights is worthless..

Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google, was prescient when he spoke about the proliferation of data.  He said, “From the dawn of civilization until 2003, humankind generated five Exabytes of data. Now we produce five Exabytes every two days…and the pace is accelerating.”

How true.

In healthcare, we have benefit information, claims, utilization data, outcomes, hospital admissions, lab results, prescriptions, remote patient monitoring biometrics, and demographics.  We also have consumer-generated data – a relatively new source of information – which is exploding as people create data while simply living their lives.  

People check into social networks like Facebook and Twitter. They use the global positioning system (GPS) feature on their smartphones. They charge retail purchases on credit cards. They don wearable devices that track activity and use sensor-laden clothing like smart running shoes and sports bras. They use mobile apps to record food intake and monitor blood glucose and Bluetooth-enabled inhalers for asthma. Even connected homes and cars are able to collect information on the health and activities of people that can populate algorithms and feed actionable advice back to a patient such as using an inhaler to avert asthma symptoms on a day with poor air quality. All of these activities leave a trail of digital ‘exhaust’, but more importantly, can be organized to create a complete and holistic view of each patient with readily consumable and actionable information to improve health.

That’s what we do at Geneia.  We integrate all kinds of data - consumer, clinical, provider, and health plan data. We translate all of this data and put it into an easy-to-use format, one that delivers insights to everyone who cares about and cares for a patient: physicians, hospitals, health plans, and employers.

I recently spoke to employers and employer coalitions at the National Business Coalition on Health Annual Conference about new and exciting opportunities that ‘big data’ and analytics brings to all of us who care about patient health.

Employers are now able to use Geneia’s advanced analytics platform to easily and quickly determine the number of employees who:

  • are currently admitted to the hospital;
  • visited the emergency department in the past year, but have not seen their primary care physician; 
  • are eligible to switch from a brand name prescription to a generic version; and
  • are pre-diabetic and at-risk of becoming chronically ill.

All of these insights and more can be generated in less than 20 minutes on our platform and can be created by existing staff, rather than analytics experts. We recently published a case study that illustrates the range of actionable information available to employers.

Undoubtedly, it’s a fortuitous and exciting time for employers. Innovative analytics and insights platforms are finally able to match employer desire for the detailed information necessary to simultaneously improve the quality, cost, and personalization of employee healthcare.