How Interoperability Powers the ‘Internet of Healthcare’

By Abhinav Shashank, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Innovaccer
Twitter: @abhinavshashank
Twitter: @innovaccer

When it comes to US healthcare, it has been reported that nearly 328 million people contribute to the total clinical data of the nation. Such massive data is further spread across various health networks in various states and counties, which has led to a greater disparity between providers. Though technology has done its part in interconnecting the broken bridges of missing data, the healthcare industry is still not able to fully utilize the data because of the lack of interoperability between different health systems.

Interoperability within the healthcare industry refers to the integration of all of the information stored in multiple health systems for easy exchange and access of data for improved care in the care continuum. Unlike other industries that work on combining all the information points to deliver the best fit, the healthcare sector seems to be crippled when it comes to data visibility and activation. A recent report stated that only 6% of providers had information access from exchange partners on a different EHR in an efficient way, which helped them facilitate care across their network.

How does interoperability impact the healthcare industry?

Healthcare is a sector where outputs matter much more than the inputs and resources invested in it because it has always been about optimizing the care for meeting the needs of the patient. However, the data outburst over the decade has decayed the communication channel between the systems, which ultimately led to insufficient and incomplete information in the data siloes for providers and physicians. Healthcare needs an information superhighway where stakeholders can connect anytime, anywhere, and hence, the need for building the ‘Internet of Healthcare’ presents, thus connecting the industry like never before.

The lack of interoperability has increased the issue of physician burnouts, which has affected care to the fundamental level. Nearly two-thirds of US physicians feel burned out and deflected from their core mission of patient care. Missing bits and pieces of relevant information have further deprived them of a holistic view of their patient’s profile, ultimately influencing the end results of the population health.

Other industries and tech giants like Google, Amazon, et al, have worked on upgrading their information system by adhering to an advanced algorithm and two-way information exchange. By deploying the concept of ‘Internet of Healthcare,’ sectors within the industry would be able to leverage a data-driven approach throughout the nation.

Take the example of Google Maps, which we use so frequently for our everyday commutes. Google Maps works on collecting the most comprehensive and accurate data from various sources to generate a series of possible directions. Further, the advanced algorithm allows the product to optimize the most suited path depending upon the position of traffic lights and live GPS devices on the path. So, rather than bombarding your dashboard with longer routes with long travel time or with the case of analysis-paralysis, Google makes the task simpler by displaying the best direction to reach your destination.

Similarly, health information systems are expected to show relevant data for improvement of care programs rather than just piling up huge chunks of data with no clarity and use. Though healthcare is still evolving with its own pace in terms of technology and care delivery, disabled interoperability between the systems has created a barrier in transforming the existing state of the industry.

How can activated data be helpful?

To address this issue of disconnected care, organizations need to focus on the best possible way to bring care connectivity across the continuum. With data activation, you can fulfill the promise of connected care and simplify patient care with technology. New concepts like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can assist in generating holistic patient views and point-of-care decision support. Let technology be the Superhero you were waiting for all this time and witness how data activation helps in building the superhighway of healthcare. What could be better than the situation where your dashboard is smart enough to connect, analyze, and optimize care for all of your patients across the network right at the moment of care? Make this a reality by righting the wrongs of healthcare technology and connect care 24/7, 365 days a year.

This article was originally published on Innovaccer and is republished here with permission.