The healthcare data industry is growing. Government agencies, patient portals, research studies, payer records, generic databases, wearable devices, electronic health records (EHRs) and more are providing data at a higher volume than ever before.1 As a result of the increased availability of healthcare data enabled largely by technology, entrepreneurs and innovators are capitalizing on the boom and finding ways to source, package, and enhance decision making with this data.
Several trends are driving both the increase in availability of healthcare data and the demand for it. The move towards value-based care, which rewards caregivers based on the overall health of their patient populations, necessitates more robust data as it allows tracking and measurement of population health on an unprecedented scale.2 Rising pressure to curb healthcare spending and improve patient outcomes is also contributing to the shift, as larger pools of data allow evidence-based decision making that will increase efficiency and improve clinical understanding of best practices associated with disease, injury, and illness.3 Government efforts are also contributing, with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services collecting and aggregating data from a range of Federal and State agencies to make available to researchers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers.4 More and better data is also allowing the integration of machine learning into healthcare, further improving efficiency and enabling the growth of precision medicine. Finally, the healthcare internet of things (IoT) is opening up ways to track patient’s decisions and daily lives with precision, creating incentives for patients to live healthy lives while allowing providers to make more informed decisions on the best products and services for customers.
Despite the rise in availability of healthcare data, challenges to effectively using it remain. The existence of data silos in healthcare in particular is an inhibitor. Companies specializing in the distribution and packaging of healthcare data stand to both provide an unprecedented level of specificity to providers while showing excellent returns for investors.
Thanks to Charles Gillock for authoring this report.