Clean data, AI advances, and provider/payer collaboration will be key in 2020

In 2020, the importance of clean data, advancements in AI and machine learning, and increased cooperation between providers and payers will rise to the fore among important healthcare and health IT trends, predicts Don Woodlock, vice president of HealthShare at InterSystems.

All of these trends are good news for healthcare provider organizations, which are looking to improve the delivery of care, enhance the patient and provider experiences, achieve optimal outcomes, and trim costs.

Clean data a strategic asset

The importance of clean data will become clear in 2020, Woodlock said.

“Data is becoming an increasingly strategic asset for healthcare organizations as they work toward a true value-based care model,” he explained. “With the power of advanced machine learning models, caregivers can not only prescribe more personalized treatment, but they can even predict and hopefully prevent issues from manifesting.”

However, there is no machine learning without clean data – meaning the data needs to be aggregated, normalized and deduplicated, he added.

“Data science teams spend a significant part of their day cleaning and sorting data to make it ready for machine learning algorithms.”

Don Woodlock, InterSystems

“Data science teams spend a significant part of their day cleaning and sorting data to make it ready for machine learning algorithms, and as a result, the rate of innovation slows considerably as more time is spent on prep then experimentation,” he said. “In 2020, healthcare leaders will better see the need for clean data as a strategic asset to help their organization move forward smartly.”

Practical use cases for AI

This year, AI and machine learning will move from “if and when” to “how and where,” Woodlock predicted.

“AI certainly is at the top of the hype cycle, but the use in practice currently is very low in healthcare,” he noted. “This is not such a bad thing as we need to spend time perfecting the technology and finding the areas where it really works. In 2020, I foresee the industry moving toward useful, practical use-cases that work well, demonstrate value, fit into workflows, and are explainable and bias-free.”

Well-developed areas like image recognition and conversational user experiences will find their foothold in healthcare along with administrative use-cases in billing, scheduling, staffing and population management where the patient risks are lower, he added.

Provider and payer collaboration

In 2020, there will be increased collaboration between payers and providers, Woodlock contended.

“The healthcare industry needs to be smarter and more inclusive of all players, from patient to health system to payer, in order to truly achieve a high-value health system,” he said.

“Payers and providers will begin to collaborate more closely in order to redesign healthcare as a platform, not as a series of disconnected events,” he concluded. “They will begin to align all efforts on a common goal: positive patient and population outcomes. Technology will help accelerate this transformation by enabling seamless and secure data sharing, from the patient to the provider to the payer.”

InterSystems will be at booth 3301 at HIMSS20.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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