I am fascinated by the way predictive analytics has revolutionized so many industries. Be it retail (Amazon), Online Search(Google), Social Media (Twitter/Facebook). Whenever I use these companies’ products, I get a feeling that they know me very well. Based on my previous interactions they predict my future behaviour and more often than not they are spot on. They seem to know what I want which makes me feel I am not just another consumer but a unique person with particular tastes, likes and dislikes. And this truly delights me. On the other hand my experience with my physician is hardly personalized. Appointments after appointments the saga remains the same. Is it possible for healthcare industry to adopt the predictive analytics toolset to delight its consumers (patients)? Can they delight the patients the way other industries are doing?
Doctors have long been predicting outcomes based on historical information. But lack of holistic data and sophisticated tools for analysis made them rely on their judgement to deliver care. This made healthcare delivery as much art as it is science. With access to new sources of data and capabilities of analytics tools, the subjective component can be significantly reduced. What’s more – doctors can now, with the help of predictive analytics, deliver personalized care which was not possible with the traditional practices.
Simply put, personalized healthcare (PHC) is right care, at the right time, and at the right place. With the advancements in genetic sequencing and advent of big data analytics, PHC is now a reality. If predictive models based on behavioural and genetic data can tell how an individual will metabolize coffee, imagine their potential to predict the right treatment for a particular patient. Here’s a video that demonstrates how powerful predictive analytics enables personalized care-
Hippocrates once said “It is far more important to know what person the disease has than to know what disease the person has”. Cannot agree more in the context of personalized healthcare. And if personalized healthcare is the end, predictive analytics is certainly one of the means to the end.