An experienced executive with over 15 years in the information technology industry, Vimal Venkatram is responsible for growing Snowflake’s business in India. Vimal specialises in data management solutions across all verticals such as retail, manufacturing and financial services, and has a deep regional experience, especially in India and Southeast Asia. He is currently based in Singapore and will be based in Mumbai subsequently.
Across the globe, the healthcare sector is experiencing challenging times as it bears the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis. With medical facilities unable to keep up with the increasing number of patients, especially in densely populated countries like India, the adoption of digital technology and analytics capabilities in healthcare systems has become more urgent.
India’s healthcare sector is gearing up for digitalisation that seeks to use data analytics and AI as a tool to identify diseases and plan advance strategies. With the pandemic, the role of data was brought to the fore as the healthcare sector race to control the spread of the disease. Areas experiencing spikes in cases were quickly identified with the help of predictive analytics. Data was also used to predict incubation periods and implement contract tracing models. By analysing data sets, healthcare professionals and researchers were able to recommend steps to curb the spread of the virus and for the government to create disease-control strategies.
Healthcare analytics is a segment of digital healthcare that leverages data from hospitals and other facilities as well as patient records and diagnoses.
It is in its nascent stages of adoption in India, but healthcare analytics can help medical professionals meet the service requirements of the country more efficiently. The healthcare analytics market in India is expected to reach a value of INR 47.04 Bn by 2025, according to market research, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.49 percent between 2020 and 2025.
The volume of data generated today by healthcare organisations has increased as digital adoption accelerates. Migrating to cloud platforms offers the flexibility and storage capacity needed to house such large volumes of data and enable healthcare organisations to derive insights that positively impact patient care and hospital operations. With access to real-time information, healthcare professionals and executives are empowered to make informed decisions that improve overall care.
During this time, data analytics and cloud platforms have emerged as vital to optimising healthcare resources. Here are some ways that data and analytics capabilities are helping to drive changes in healthcare:
- The Rise of Mobile Health Apps
The advent of mobile health data applications, or mHealth, has given patients on-demand access to their health information. Through these apps, patients can view their medical records, communicate with their care team, and manage appointments and billing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Centralised electronic health record (EHR) systems have enabled self-service patient data management, empowering individuals to better track information about their health. Similarly, hospitals and health institutions can draw insights from data gathered from mobile health apps, which can help the sector create therapeutic and preventive health programs for the population.
- Genomic Analytics
Breakthroughs in genomic research and DNA sequencing have led to the growth of precision, or personalised, medicine. It requires a holistic understanding of a patient’s genome, which is summarised through analysis of petabytes of genetic data. The field of genomics is rapidly expanding as different branches of precision medicine contribute to growing the database. This is especially useful in the management and development of treatment of several life-threatening diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer.
With aggregated genetic data stored in data banks, biomedical companies, hospitals and institutions can refer to the database for research, diagnoses and to accelerate new treatments and vaccines.
- The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
IoMT is comprised of medical devices and applications that are connected to healthcare IT systems via the internet. It includes consumer health wearables, remote patient monitoring trackers, sensor-enabled hospital beds, medication-tracking systems and medical supplies and equipment inventory tracking systems.
The expanding IoMT ecosystem is transforming healthcare and improving patient outcomes by enabling remote monitoring of patients with chronic diseases, improving drug management, and delivering a better patient experience. It is also increasing the safety of medical supplies and reducing manufacturing costs. To reap the benefits, healthcare organisations are starting to invest heavily in this promising new space. By 2022, the estimated worth of the IoMT market will reach $158.1 billion.
- Emerging Technologies
Other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain, hold promising potential in the healthcare and life sciences field. From improving patient care to accelerating medical research and clinical trial analysis, organisations stand to provide potentially limitless benefits for patients and customers. As the adoption of data analytics in healthcare continues, the sector will see more use cases for these emerging technologies.
Government agencies and relevant sectors have the responsibility to act fast when the health and safety of the people are on the line. With the help of data analytics and cloud platforms, the healthcare sector will be better equipped in providing services and addressing the gaps in the system. Emerging trends such as mobile health data applications, genomic analytics, and IoMT ecosystem are proof of how technology can make an impact.