In this blog, we’ll be envisioning the future role of Big Data and Data Science within the healthcare industry. The effective use of data science in healthcare is enabled by the development and deployment of machine learning approaches as these often use artificial intelligence. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence only now make it possible to unravel the patterns, associations, correlations, and causations in complex, unstructured, unnormalized, and unscaled datasets that the Data Science era brings.
What is meant by utilizing Data Science in Healthcare?
Currently, we are in an era where not only data transformation is going on but also your health. There was a time when doctors used to search the patient’s data from millions of medical records. Machine Learning has the power to provide data-driven clinical decision support to physicians and hospital staff to pave the way for increased revenue. Machine Learning is known to be the subset of artificial intelligence that is designed to recognize patterns, use of algorithms and data to provide automated insights to the healthcare providers.
The current success of Data Science in Healthcare
The data science generation and open-access models have resulted in hundreds of applications and scientific publications. Artificial Intelligence is commonly known for its capability to have machines perform the tasks that normally a human mind performs (problem-solving is one of those human actions). Currently, this is the time when new drugs are developing and new uses are being identified for existing drugs and these have been made easy with the help of Data Science. As per the analysis given by Business Insider Intelligence, artificial intelligence in healthcare is projected to grow at an annualized 48% between 2017 and 2023.
The below figure shows the digital ecosystem of the US as per the record in 2019:
(Image credits: businessinsider)
Data Science Applications in Healthcare
Primary Data Science application areas:
- Electronic health records (EHRs): Application of machine learning tools are now supplemented by data science. EHRs allow easy access to the patient data to the patients and the physicians as well. Researchers in this field are allowing remote electronic access and easy data manipulation. The integration of EHRs and diagnostic tests such as MRIs, genomic sequencing, and other technologies is a great opportunity for data science as it will allow physicians for a better understanding of the genetic causes behind various diseases.
- Wearable devices to predict illness: Stanford University has revealed that integrating data science on gadgets can predict illnesses or any kind of viral infection utilizing wearable technology. As an example, currently, smart devices (smartwatches/smart bands) are available in the market that can examine blood pressure, oxygen levels in the blood, or the heart rate. As per the current scenario of COVID-19, measuring these basic things are the initial symptoms of being positive or negative of Coronavirus. Data Science algorithms even are helping to curb the spread of viral infections of COVID-19. Data Scientists are currently working to identify early symptoms before knowing they are sick. Fitbit, a company that develops wearable devices will assist in the effort by raising awareness of the study with its users and are going to offer them the option to participate. As per the study, 250,000 monitoring is being done daily using smart devices. Think of a doctor performing such monitoring manually!
Few of the most common of these smart devices include:
- Heart rate sensors
- Exercise trackers
- Sweat meters – used for diabetics to monitor blood sugar levels
- Oximeters – monitors the amount of oxygen carried in the blood, and is often used by patients with respiratory illnesses such as COPD or asthma.
- AI in monitoring patient care: The integrated use of artificial intelligence utilizes cameras or sensors to monitor activity in a physical space, for example, monitoring patient rooms or hospitality hailway. AI in real-time analyzes the resulting video data that can appear in depth or capture thermal data in the form of moving images or anything like that. What if you can monitor if the patient entering the hospital is sanitized or not or have washed hands before entering or not? Yes, all this is possible with the help of artificial intelligence. Moreover, a general video on guiding the basic instructions or first-aid training to be shown on the large screens inside the hospital as this could help patients to know the how’s and about’s of many common diseases.
- Flag disease with smart toilet: As per the research of Stanford University, a disease detecting toilet may sense multiple signs of illness through automated urine and stool analysis to predict certain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, prostate cancer or kidney failure, and want to keep on top of their health. Gambhir, a professor and chair of radiology has invented a smart toilet that looks like an ordinary toilet outfitted with gadgets inside the bowl. As per Gambhir, “These tools, a suite of different technologies, use motion sensing to deploy a mixture of tests that assess the health of any deposits. Urine samples undergo physical and molecular analysis; stool assessment is based on physical characteristics.” Everyone uses the bathroom so there is no chance of avoiding this technology and it enhances its values as disease-detecting devices. The use of smart toilets is still in the testing phase with a total of 12 participants having been tested over the course of several months. To get a better feel for “user acceptance” more broadly, the team surveyed 300 prospective smart-toilet users. About 37% said they were “somewhat comfortable” with the idea, and 15% said they were “very comfortable” with the idea of baring it all in the name of precision health – says Gambhir.
- Store data on private clouds: AI can help to store data on the private clouds of hospitals or healthcare professionals – Google Cloud is the example. Saving data on private clouds can help to ease the searching for patient records for future purposes. Data Science algorithms can be implemented to perform many operations to access, retrieve, access or store data on the cloud.
- Treating patients with Virtual Reality (VR): If you look a few years back, people were utilizing virtual reality for gaming. 2018 onwards, VR is now used as the digital transformation in healthcare. The global virtual and augmented reality in the healthcare market is expected to reach $5.1 billion by 2025. If you’re a healthcare company planning your digital marketing strategy, you should highly consider investing this technology. VR is going to become a more powerful communication medium that allows you to sense better of the customer requirements and engage them virtually with the healthcare services.
- Sentiment and Emotions analysis for result-oriented feedback: Machine Learning algorithms are taking the lead in this perspective to take data as input and learn from this data. Machine Learning algorithms are utilized to go through data and pattern identification. Sentiment and emotion analysis is very helpful for psychologists or alike doctors. Healthcare professionals could detect-
- Height or weight of the face
- Color of the face
- Width of other parts of the face (lips, nose, etc.)
How Data Science is reshaping Healthcare?
- Robotic-assisted surgery
It was first medically used in 1985. Robots can be utilized performing laparoscopy, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, emergency care, etc. AI is utilized to analyze and solve problems on their own with no or less human interference.
- Early detection and diagnosis
One of the most significant benefits of utilizing data science in healthcare is the early detection of disease and diagnosing it. Cancer can be now detected at very early stages, as per the American Cancer Society. With the help of AI, translation of mammograms is 30 times faster with 99% accuracy and it is helping in diminishing unrequired biopsies. IBM Watson, on the other hand, is helpful in collecting medical journals, symptoms, case studies, and treatment responses, and determining potential diagnosis and the treatment options. Another option here is Google’s DeepMind Health software that facilitates healthcare professionals to facilitate the partnership between machine knowledge and systems neuroscience.
- Administrative workflow
Data Science applications ease the doctors’ or nurses’ burden and take care of administrative responsibilities like filling prescriptions, chart notes, and ordering tests.
Future of Data Science in Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence and Data Science are what can untangle the complexity of human health and diseases and create longer and better lives. Artificial Intelligence in healthcare is growing continuously for wearable technology, digital medicine, and the overall transformation of the industry into the digital age. With the use of data science, healthcare professionals demonstrate how technology can drastically improve patient outcomes, lower costs, and increase productivity. Consumers are going online to collect information for the following reasons:
- 47% research doctors
- 38% research hospital and medical facilities
- 77% book medical appointments
The upcoming 5G technology will be the upcoming driver of the evolution of the new mobile industry. With the use of 5G technology, doctors can accurately monitor real-time imaging of organs, soft tissues, and bones that will greatly decrease the risk of misdiagnosis.
Benefits of Data Science in Healthcare
- Personalizes the healthcare experience – medical devices give patients a sense of ownership in the process of improving their health.
- Target’s insurance pricing – information obtained from wearable devices can help insurers more accurately rate a patient’s risk for illness.
- Provides insurance incentives – patients who take preventive measures to improve their health can obtain lower insurance premiums.
- Provides gamification opportunities – some medical devices such as fitness watches can create competitive goals for users to achieve through exercise, diet, and nutrition.
Health is in the palm of your hand now!
The medicinal services system is experiencing a seismic move in how data is acquired and spread. Gone are the days when all clinical data was under the lock and key of specialists and specialists, and patients needed to transfer ownership of their lives to get to their own wellbeing data – purchasers need to have the option to get to all parts of their wellbeing record and do as such from the palm of their hand. Through tools, for example, online patient entrances that give clinical test outcomes, finding, and clarifications of sicknesses, patients are presently turning out to be members in their prosperity. Furthermore, that permits specialists to dissect patients continuously. Let’s see how appropriate automating healthcare goes! Fingers crossed and hope for the best!