Health Care Catches Up With IT Trends

Medical TabletIn recent years, a number of innovative trends has swept the information technology field and revolutionized how a variety of industries define cutting-edge. Perhaps the most notable buzzwords of the last couple of years have been mobility and big data. While these advancements have quickly become staples of companies working in the realm of finance and marketing, organizations in the health care sector may seem like they have been slower on the uptake. However, that is all changing, and these developments have made their way to this industry so that companies can leverage them to improve consumer health care.

Unlike employees in other lines of work, IT professionals operating in the health care field have faced an array of barriers preventing them from implementing a share of sophisticated solutions that would overhaul their companies’ operations. For the most part, having to ensure patient confidentiality and comply with various policies have kept these individuals from adopting big data practices and mobile applications for some time. That being said, IT firms have made significant strides in terms of developing solutions that enable health care professionals to tap into the latest forms of technology in a secure manner.

Health care undergoes big data changes
According to Forbes, one such company aiming to bring the health care industry up to speed with IT is Inovalon. The source explained that this organization hopes to allow for advancements in patient care quality by presenting health care providers with the tools to curate and pick apart big data. Recognizing the positive impact that this kind of technology has made in other industries, this company wants to apply the same processes to information within health care institutions.

“Everything we do here is about how to take in the various often disparate data sources that construct the healthcare landscape – such as claims, laboratory, pharmacy, medical benefits, demographic information, provider information, and facility information – and apply advanced analytics onto that data to identify the difference between current state and desired state,” Dr. Keith Dunleavy, founder and CEO of Inovalon, told Forbes. “That gap between current state and desired state across a number of different constituencies is what our life is all about, because then we can apply additional analytics that tell us how to close that gap.”

By leveraging big data to collect and analyze different types of information within individual institutions and the health care industry in general, IT professionals could help not only their companies, but also their patients. In addition to pinpointing the most efficient ways for medical providers to run their practices, the information gleaned from big data analysis can assist in determining the most promising course of action for patients’ treatments. By having ready access to statistics about conditions, as well as insight into the effectiveness of different approaches to treatment, doctors and clinicians can pick the best proven option when it comes to patients’ care.

Medical care becomes mobile
Big data is not the only tech trend the medical industry is embracing. According to a recent press release, the health startup Better and the Mayo Clinic have partnered in developing a mobile app that allows consumers to have continuous access to medical information and a symptom checker tool for free via their phones. If people want to upgrade those features, they can subscribe for a premium membership, which costs $49,99, and grants them the ability to interact with a Personal Health Assistant affiliated with Mayo.

With this function, consumers could receive medical advice and prescriptions without even heading to the doctor’s office. Thanks to mobile technology, the world of health care is anticipated to evolve dramatically, the first step being with Better’s app.

“Health care is good at buildings, but they’re not good at mobile – at extending reach,” said Geoffrey Clapp, co-founder of Better. “We wanted to be the tip of the spear; to answer, how do you take great medical services and extend them through technology to where patients are?”

“We collaborated with and invested in Better to create a powerful way for people to connect with Mayo Clinic in their homes and communities, wherever they are,” stated Dr. Paul Limburg, medical director of Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions.

Marie Larsen
Marie is a writer for She has an educational background in languages and literature. She covers IT trends and executive technology management topics for the company.