HIMSS17 – The Challenge of Data…Data…Data…Data…Data…Data

The amount of digital health data that is being generated every day is exploding – and there is no end in sight. As consumers get more involved with the use of everything from wearables to DNA genetic testing, the challenge of the ocean of data can become overwhelming. As I walked the floor on day 2 of HIMSS17, it was stunning to see how nearly every one of the 1,200 vendors was dealing with data in one form or another.

After walking the floor, looking at every booth and talking to many of the vendors, the data solutions at HIMSS can be broken up into 5 broad categories:

1 – Where to store the data –  The amount of data being generated is mindboggling. IBM, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Google all had a presence at HIMSS17. There are over 150 vendors at HIMSS17 that have the word “cloud” in their company description.

2 – How to keep data secure – It is not enough to simply store the petabytes of information that is continually being generated – it has to be stored securely. Over 150 vendors at HIMSS17 have “data and security” in their company’s description. From complying with HIPPA to the threat of a data breach, everyone is concerned with keeping their data safe.

3 – How to combine patient data with the patient’s other health data – Interoperability or the ability of systems or software to exchange and make use of information is a major challenge and is getting more difficult every day. Over 50 vendors at HIMSS17 are working on the interoperability issue. Patient data is being generated from multiple sources – in order to provide a complete picture of the patient, it is imperative to bring all patient data together.

4 – How to analyze the data – Data that is stored but cannot be analyzed is a waste – a waste of time, money and opportunity. Over 300 vendors have the term “analytics” in their description. Several studies show that less than 1% of all data that is being generated is acted upon – that has to change.

5 – Making care decisions based on data – All data collection leads to this single issue – How can data lead to better patient outcomes? How can data provide more personalized treatments and a better quality of life? How can it cut costs?

We can never lose sight of the fact that all of the data being generated is simply a tool – a tool to make better care decisions. The purpose of data – and all of Health IT – is to provide better care… ideally at a lower cost.

Matthew, Engage Mobile

Engage Mobile builds custom health and enterprise strategy and software solutions that leverage mobile and cloud technologies to solve unique business challenges.

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