The U.S. healthcare system continues to undergo dramatic changes when it comes to how consumers can obtain insurance as well as the growing role of individuals in plotting their own treatments. Big data is expected to play an increasingly significant role in treatment analysis as well as enable healthcare insurers to cater to individual consumers.
For instance, the use of analytics can help healthcare providers and payers better predict who needs care and when, according to an article in The Washington Post. “The same way that shopping Web sites can predict what you want to buy, healthcare organizations can use big data to take better care of you,” the article notes.
Meanwhile, the expanding use of electronic health records by physicians, clinics, hospitals, and other practitioners is bringing together patient data that previously resided either just on paper or in siloed medical systems. This can allow healthcare providers to analyze large volumes of information quickly so they can identify and take action on their patients’ medical conditions faster and more accurately.
For instance, a hospital can use a mix of patient data and research data to identify patients who may be at risk for certain conditions such as hypertension or diabetes. Hospital physicians can then use these insights to communicate these risks to patients as well as educate them on preventive steps they can take.
As millions of new and existing customers begin shopping for healthcare insurance, insurers or payers can use big data to identify prospects that offer strong opportunities to convert at prices that offer value to the consumer while remaining profitable for the payer. Reuters has estimated that the average monthly premium paid by Americans for a mid-tier health insurance plan is $328.