How Data Science is Reshaping Healthcare
By Aditi Bhat
Data science is all set to revolutionize the world around us, especially the healthcare industry. However, how true are these claims? Manipal Global Academy of Data Science answered all these questions in its recent webinar “Data Science in Healthcare - Hype or Reality”. It was presented by Kartik Desikan, a Data Science Evangelist at Manipal Hospitals, who used interesting case studies to explain how AI is expected to make our lives longer and healthier!
What’s all the buzz about?
Kartik began by emphasizing how data science is the buzz word these days. He highlighted the game-changing role played by data scientists in the e-commerce industry, especially by big names like Google, IBM and Microsoft. Can the same success be replicated in the healthcare industry? The webinar explained how this can be achieved, what obstacles are plaguing the industry right now and how Big Data and Artificial Intelligence can help overcome these issues.
Statistical methodologies are widely used in the healthcare industry and naturally so, given that the very foundation of the industry is based on heaps and piles of data. Now, this data may not necessarily be in order. So there is a need to refine the available data and extract meaningful insights from it. That’s where data scientists come to the rescue!
Diagnosis, prognosis and treatment
Data scientists in the healthcare industry are helping doctors with their patient diagnosis and treatment. Data analysts rely on scientific clinical methodologies, which help in determining the disease based on the patient’s symptoms.
Much needed technological push
Technology is undoubtedly, the gateway to bringing a fundamental shift in the healthcare industry. Technological boom has led to an enormous increase in data storage options. Think about it – you could be sitting in your office and still let your doctor track your health stats with the use of wearables like a Fitbit.
Healthcare industry – Objectives and challenges
Kartik further introduced the webinar attendants to the three objectives of the healthcare industry, namely cost reduction, improved access to healthcare services, and better quality. However, he made an interesting inference stating it is difficult to touch upon all the three focus points at a time.He then explained how every element of the industry faces its own set of challenges, namely:
Role of data science in strengthening healthcare services
Kartik explained how solutions like Remote Patient Monitoring, Mobile Apps, and Telemedicine can help solve some of these challenges. He then dwelled deeper into the several ways data science can help hospitals boost their business, operations and clinical approach. Here’s a look at it:
Manipal Hospitals – Making a difference
Kartik stressed how e-commerce players can easily track customer information. However, most hospitals may not get access to such information easily, so they have to develop tools to obtain this important data. He gave an example of how Manipal Hospitals relies on feedback forms to understand their patient’s experience with the hospital.
He spoke about the role of ground-breaking technology like IBM Watson, which will soon transform the healthcare industry. The platform helps derive insights from unstructured patient data.
Manipal Hospitals is the first hospital network in India to adopt and leverage this technology for oncology! Here’s more about its features:
Better self-diagnosis and improved patient tracking
Such easy to use and readily accessible technology is also helping patients in managing their health conditions post the treatment/diagnosis. It also allows doctors to stay on track with the health updates of their patients.
Picking the perfect data science model
If you are a data science professional serving the healthcare industry, here are a few factors to consider when selecting a data science model:
Lastly, Kartik shared an interesting clip from the movie Gattaca, wherein the doctors predict the longevity of a just-born baby based on the baby’s blood sample! And with the kind of pioneering transformation in the healthcare industry, this could soon be our future!
Data science is likely to make healthcare services much affordable and accessible in the future while providing personalized treatments. Here’s to a healthy future, thanks to data science!