Improving the Quality of Healthcare and Personalizing Medicine with Analytics

What if predictions in healthcare could be as personalized and accurate as they are on Amazon or Netflix?

A new book, “Practical Predictive Analytics and Decision Systems for Medicine,” helps organizations move in the right direction by providing a step-by-step guide to applying predictive analytics to healthcare.

The book’s team of authors includes two members of the Dell Information Management Group who joined Dell following the company’s acquisition of StatSoft: Dr. Thomas Hill is the executive director for analytics in the Information Management Group; Dr. Gary Miner is the senior analyst and healthcare applications specialist in that group. StatSoft, which created Statistica software, has long provided analytics capabilities for the healthcare industry.

 In a recent Q&A with Hill, Miner and lead author Dr. Linda Winters-Miner, these writers highlight the promise of analytics for healthcare. “If you could take the so-called Amazon experience of highly personalized, accurate profiling of what someone is probably going to do next, and turn that loose on healthcare, common sense tells you there’s an incredible amount to be gained,” says Hill.

Some forward-looking hospitals are already using predictive analytics and decisioning systems to achieve key healthcare goals, such as reducing infection risks. “As a surgery is taking place, they’re inputting real-time data into a decisioning system,” says Hill. “The surgeon can then use [the insights generated] to make on-the-spot decisions about how to go about closing and treating the incision in order to reduce the risk of infection.”

Despite the great promise for analytics, the industry has a long way to go. “I don’t think we’re at a point where we can say most organizations are even dabbling in analytics for predicting individualized diagnosis and treatment,” says Miner. “There are certain exceptions, but most organizations are 15 years behind the time.”

This book could provide valuable guidance to help organizations understand how analytics is transforming the healthcare industry – from patient, to payer, to provider. It could also help invigorate the profession. “I hope it gets people excited and hopeful about their ability to change the industry,” says Winters-Miner.

 Read the full Q&A with Hill, Miner and Winters-Miner on the Direct2Quest community site, and check out the book.


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