It is incredibly difficult for healthcare practitioners to keep up with the complexity of modern care. The FDA approved 550 new drugs in 2018. Medical professionals always try to do what’s best for their patients, but they really can’t know everything. Presently, there is a steady stream of new drug and therapy releases. Clinical trial outcomes cannot be relied upon as a guarantee of success, as every patient is different. In order to provide the best treatment possible for their patients, how can medical professionals keep up with the ever-increasing pace of scientific discovery?
Recent advances in technology have allowed doctors to provide individualised treatment plans for their patients. Things are, indeed, improving. The ability to effectively utilise data gathered from healthcare technologies is vital. Public health analytics. The ability to analyse population health data could help providers better understand how their treatments are being utilised.
How might population health data analytics impact the care provided to patients in the next decade?
Implantable devices are used for monitoring health conditions
Providers have long been aware of the potential impact of wearable technology on their access to population health data. In 2019, one-third of all adults in the US used a fitness tracker.
During the Covid pandemic, medical practitioners looked for new ways to keep tabs on their patients. Wearable technology has developed into a revolutionary, risk-free, and novel technique for gathering patient data. Wearable technology could be used in many different ways, the most common of which are:
- Be aware of how those who are sick are interacting with others.
- Get rid of the infectious doctors and nurses by isolating them.
- Monitor Covid patients so you can isolate them appropriately.
Heart rate and activity intensity are two of the most common physiological variables tracked by current wearable devices. A future application for these devices may be to track physiological parameters like core body temperature or blood oxygen levels. Both patients and doctors can benefit from this information since it can help them decide whether or not an immediate medical appointment is necessary.
Popular activities include tracing one’s roots and analysing one’s DNA
Let me break down the distinction between these two expressions for you. Patients frequently undergo genetic testing to identify inherited disorders and traits (such as the BRCA-1 gene mutation for breast cancer). Genomic profiling allows us to detect alterations that have nothing to do with genes. These cells may represent cancerous ones that were triggered by things like smoking or too much sun.
In the future, information gathered from wearable devices could be used in conjunction with genetic testing and genomic profiling to provide tailored care.
Telehealth is utilised for the initial consultation in primary care
A patient will use telehealth on their smartphone to get in touch with their doctor if their wearable gadget detects a change in health or if they start to feel under the weather. In the past, patients often had to wait a long time for even a routine diagnosis. Now, doctors will only see patients in person if it’s absolutely necessary, instead preferring to talk to them on the phone whenever possible.
Improved access to health data analytics
In the future, de-identified data from wearable devices, genetic and genomic testing, and interactions with providers could be utilised to inform better healthcare decisions. Although a large percentage of the population, clinical trial participants are not representative of the overall population that will end up taking medicine. Access to patient data would be extremely useful for providers, as it would show numerous instances of different medications being used in practice to manage issues like morbidity and allergy.
Medical professionals in a given area might utilise this data to build interdisciplinary teams to better meet the needs of the local population and educate the public on healthcare issues.
The health benefits have increased
When healthcare providers are better able to share data, patients will benefit from more tailored treatment regimens, more robust public health databases, and lower overall healthcare expenditures. These advancements lead to less labour for doctors and administrators, better health monitoring and patient care, and better health outcomes overall.
The exchange of data is fundamental to all of this. Over the next decade, improvements in data exchange and technological breakthroughs may completely transform the way care is delivered. Although the foundations of healthcare remain the same, advances in technology will allow for more individualised care for each patient.
David Radar, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.