Business intelligence is often thought of as a marketing technology, one that specializes in gathering and harnessing large pools of consumer information. However, for researchers and healthcare providers, big data offers significant speed and can help reveal new medical breakthroughs in record time.
According to PhysBizTech, hospitals have avoided big data, fearing that it costs too much for the benefits it provides. However, affordable options do exist for care providers looking to improve their database management and electronic discovery initiatives.
"Without a doubt, the biggest boon for my practice has been using business intelligence to evaluate treatment efficacy," Bryon Viechnicki told Healthcare Finance News. "Other small practices should, at the very least, see how BI tools can improve their practices. A small practice should invest in BI when it can deliver extra value to patients through improving patient care or decreasing the cost of doing business."
Predictive modeling improving care
Dan Hogan, president and CEO of Medalogix, says that BI can offer vital predictive modeling tools. For hospitals, this is a huge advance in treatment capacities, providing tech solutions that help doctors to target medical treatments more accurately. When a physician cares for a patient with a condition he or she is not familiar with, predictive modeling can help doctors to put patients in the context of thousands of others whose basic care information has been saved in safe, off-site databases. Without innovations like this, Hogan says that some hospitals simply wouldn't survive.
The Sydney Morning Herald notes that while business intelligence analytics and predictive modeling have improved healthcare, these solutions still require trained medical professionals to manage them. Big data offers promise for businesses, scientists and healthcare providers alike, but people may always make up the final step in the process of data acquisition, analysis and eventual use.
Business intelligence tools, however, are completing some of these typically human steps, including diagnosis. According to Bimal Naik, chief client officer at CitiusTech, BI tools have become so powerful that they can identify some patients' medical needs based on their symptoms and histories.
More commonly, though, BI is used to help hospitals manage billing cycles and financial matters. For smaller care providers, these solutions can offer big business capacities at lower cost.