Universal electronic health records (EHRs) are key to using data more effectively in healthcare, according to the latest Future Health Index report from health tech company Royal Philips.
Why does data matter in healthcare? Quite simply, it can make healthcare services more efficient while also saving and improving lives. The collection, sharing and analysing of data can help identify disease earlier, make hospitals more responsive, and transform the patient experience.
The report, Moving data to the heart of health systems: Increasing vital technology adoption to make value-based healthcare a reality, focuses on two factors that have the potential to advance integration and the effective use of data.
Digital identity tools such as EHRs – based on standardised data and protocols that can be accessed, used and updated by all care providers as necessary – can make the collection and exchange of healthcare data much easier. Data analytics and artificial Intelligence (AI) can then mine that data for connections and insights that will benefit both healthcare professionals and patients. This ranges from the identification of health trends at the level of an entire population, to more precise diagnosis, treatment and after-care for individual patients, Philips explained.
The report sets out a series of recommendations to drive better collection, analysis and use of healthcare data, including modernising medical training to foster the adoption of EHRs and AI tools and striking the right balance between data protection and (de)regulation.
“By connecting people, data and systems, we can create a network that allows information to flow seamlessly across care providers, locations and systems,” said Jan Kimpen, chief medical officer for Philips.
A separate report from Frost & Sullivan claims that AI and cognitive computing will generate over $150bn (£115bn) in savings for the healthcare industry by 2025.