The big question: What do we do with the data?
BOSTON – Patient generated health data (PGHD) has the power to bring new insights to population health and predictive models, said Dr. Fatima Paruk, chief medical officer at Allscripts, at the recent Bridge to Pop Health conference.
“We have lots of solid data, but we’ve never really been able to combine it effectively to drive better population health,” she said.
Artificial intelligence and neural networks are tackling that challenge, but now health organizations need to leverage the progress that has been made, she said.
“The electronic health records industry has facilitated the collection of large scale data and health organizations can afford to keep this data in the cloud,” she said. “The question becomes what do we do with it?”
Allscripts has been working on building neural networks and incorporating machine learning on large amounts of PGHD to predict health outcomes for patient populations with chronic conditions and opioid abuse disorder.
The company has been able to show some payers the annual direct cost estimate of care for people with certain chronic conditions, like diabetes. It used their technology, for example, to show one payer that 80% of the patients they studied converted from pre-diabetes to diabetes over a five-year period. The payer believed it was 30%.
“We are trying to get payers on board for paying for diabetes care and other conditions,” said Paruk. “We are proving that we can use Big Data for better disease management.”
Paruk said the time is right for the health care industry to leverage new technologies and the consumerization of health care to manage patient populations.
“Patients are willing to share their data,” said Paruk. “We can use it to help them take better care of themselves.”