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How Smart Hospitals Can Harness the Power of Big Data Healthcare?

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Jay_Osgood
Schneider Alumni (Retired)
Schneider Alumni (Retired)
1
1023

How Smart Hospitals Can Harness the Power of Big Data Healthcare?

Smart hospitals produce large amounts of data. Patient records, vital signs, blood test results, glucose levels; the list goes on and on. With so many connected IoT sensors, the possibilities for using this medical data are virtually endless. From improvements to patient care and enhanced logistics to breakthroughs in efficiency, big data enables big changes in smart hospitals with a little help from artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics.  

 

Medical professionals work hard to provide the best possible care to patients under constantly changing circumstances. Their hard work can now be analyzed in real-time and built upon by harnessing this data generated through the use of connected medical equipment. This data allows continuous improvements to be made within a smart hospitals' approach to patient care processes, all while making advances in the healthcare sector at large.

 

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Digitized Health Records Save Time and Resources

It used to be that hospitals would need to invest in filing cabinets and an inventory system just to store and keep track of patient records. Thanks to the advent of digital archiving, intelligent cloud computing, and connected IoT sensors, a patient’s medical records can be stored digitally while remaining instantly accessible to authorized medical personnel.

 

It used to take doctors and nurses quite a bit of time to access a patient’s file and refer to it for details of their medical history or preexisting conditions. This research would be downright impossible to perform if the patient came into the hospital in critical condition and had to be rushed to the emergency room or straight into surgery.

 

Now medical records can be pulled up in seconds and updated in real-time. If a patient who is currently using blood thinners is rushed into surgery, nurses and surgeons can be updated on these details and they can adjust their medical interventions accordingly to avoid life-threatening hemorrhaging.

 

This becomes particularly practical when a patient is being seen by several doctors from multiple clinics or hospitals. Medical records can be shared with all attending physicians. They can stay updated on what every other medical professional has been up to quickly, providing a more holistic approach to medicine that was previously impossible without scheduling regular group meetings.

 

Storing medical records digitally also creates added cost savings for smart hospitals. Healthcare facilities can swap locking filing cabinets and archive rooms for encrypted servers that can hold infinite more information without the worry of running out of space. These records can go back for years while remaining easy to search and browse. All while keeping medical information easily accessible for the medical staff caring for the patient.

 

With the aid of information tokens like medical alert bracelets, patients who are not in a condition to speak with medical staff can still have their medical records pulled up in no time, reducing the amount of guesswork required by doctors and nurses during treatment. This results not only in improved care for patients, but also in better care coordination across hospital wards.

 

Cyclical Trends in Healthcare Can Be Predicted Using Analytics

Flu season. Allergy seasons. Rises in STI spread among young people. Tobacco consumption among the general public. All of these health trends can be tracked using the medical data collected by smart hospital IoT sensors. Being at the ground level when it comes to providing treatment, hospital staff often see patients that can be overlooked in a more controlled and sterilized environment such as a medical research lab. This gives them a unique position when it comes to reporting on public health trends from the frontlines.

 

With the ability to harness and analyze incoming healthcare data in real-time, smart hospitals can now use the power of AI to spot trends across their incoming patients. By cross-referencing this data with healthcare data from other local healthcare facilities, smart hospitals are better equipped to spot important health trends that concern the general public and provide information.

 

During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, where hospitals kept a close eye on the number of infected patients who tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, patient numbers were transmitted to health agencies on a daily basis with the objective of tracking spread patterns.  

 

This data became of vital importance to implement strategies for controlling infection rates and issuing health recommendations in a timely fashion.

 

Data for New Treatment Studies and Pharmaceutical Trials

Although new medicines and pharmaceutical products go through rigorous testing before being approved for public use, the reality is that the testing phase doesn’t end once the clinical trial is finished. In fact, many new discoveries about medications are made once they have left the lab and human patients use them over longer periods of time.

 

These periods of time are the perfect opportunity for smart hospitals to harness the massive amounts of medical data they collect while treating patients to further research the effects of new medications. From cancer treatments to heart disease medications and everything in between, patient medication data provides the perfect tool to analyze long-term trends in treatment. Unknown side effects and additional benefits can be picked up by analyzing the data across a large pool of patients, and the ability to filter out any variables medical professionals see fit allows them to spot microtrends.

 

With such a large and detailed pool of data, medication combinations can be analyzed to see if they counteract each other, create negative side effects, or provide additional health benefits. Preexisting conditions can also be analyzed to see if a patient’s recovery rate is improved or diminished by using specific medications.

 

The sheer level of patient data being recorded and stored thanks to IoT digitization in healthcare allows a smart hospital to push pharmaceutical research forward at a faster pace than ever while using medical data that is sourced from real-world patient scenarios. With the help of artificial intelligence, this medical data can create a richer data pool that allows doctors and pharmacists to prescribe medication with greater foresight than ever before, going far beyond what can be observed during clinical trials.   

 

The sheer level of patient data being recorded and stored thanks to IoT digitization in healthcare allows a smart hospital to push pharmaceutical research forward at a faster pace than ever while using medical data that is sourced from real-world patient scenarios. With the help of artificial intelligence, this medical data can create a richer data pool that allows doctors and pharmacists to prescribe medication with greater foresight than ever before, going far beyond what can be observed during clinical trials.   

 

As hospitals and medical instruments become more and more connected through IoT technology, the opportunities big data affords the medical field become more tangible with every passing day. By harnessing the power of the huge amounts of medical data being produced, smart hospitals can transform their IoT networks into constantly evolving intelligent machines. Machines that improve themselves over time, increasing the quality of patient care while uncovering new insights for medical professionals.

 

For more information on how IoT technology helps smart hospitals master their big data healthcare capabilities while improving patient care, explore the Schneider Electric Exchange community.

 

 

Keep the conversation going! Tune in to Schneider Electric’s new Podcast Series for Everyday Extraordinary Healthcare focusing on Resiliency. Start listening.

 

Visit, Share, Ask your questions and get expert answers in Exchange Solutions for Healthcare Forum!

 

Sources:

How to manage your medical records: Retention, access, security, storage, disposal, and transfer

How IoT devices, like Smart tags, help Hospitals track Coronavirus exposure

Powering Clinical Trials with IoT

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Yves_Renaud
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Lieutenant JG
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Re: How Smart Hospitals Can Harness the Power of Big Data Healthcare?

Thank you very much @Jay_Osgood for this great blog. What can an Healthcare infrastructure do to support the increasing quantity of data generated?

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