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How the IoT and patient-generated data can unlock health care value

As health systems continue to face shrinking margins, tightening budgets, and evolving payment models, analytics are being touted as the missing key to unlock new sources of value.

In striving to improve outcomes and reduce costs, health care providers have long struggled with several nagging problems— most notably, their interactions with their patients are sporadic, giving them little insight into the daily decisions and activities that have a huge impact on patient health. Providers could be much more effective in supporting their patients’ health if it was easy, or even automatic, for information and feedback to flow between patients, providers, and caregivers. Fortunately, new technology is making that increasingly possible.

Where data about consumers have been critical to the transformation in retail, in health care the key is patient-generated data (PGD), defined as “health-related data created, recorded, gathered, or inferred by or from patients or their designees to help address a health concern.” PGD includes patient reported outcomes, medical-device data, and wearables data, in addition to the application of consumer-generated data in a health care setting.


PGD and the IoT Value Loop

Many industries are experiencing meteoric growth in available information with the potential to inform decision making, and health care is no exception. The new breed of digital PGD is increasingly generated by IoT technologies and associated business processes that offer the ability to track activities, identify choices, evaluate outcomes, and act in circumstances that were previously effectively beyond reach and influence.

Applications of PGD to improve health care

Hastalar tarafından üretilen verilerin sağlık hizmetlerini geliştirme alanındaki uygulamaları

Within five years, the majority of clinically relevant data . . . will be collected outside of clinical settings.”

Health care organizations typically adopt technologies slowly, requiring a greater degree of evidence to demonstrate significant impact and efficiency. As PGD’s use increases, three areas in particular offer a growing evidence base for value in improving health outcomes, reducing cost, and expanding access to care:

1. Short-term care planning

Event-specific data for a finite time period, or epoch of care, to customize care and support compliance to treatment regimens through education, feedback, reminders, and monitoring.

2. Chronic-disease management and home care

Continuous data streams to optimally manage narrow sets of known health issues, such as diabetes, measuring potentially concerning deviations from a person’s normal parameters.

3. Population-based evidence creation

High volumes of data to better understand how certain determinants of health affect patient populations and inform treatment guidelines

The way forward

The use of PGD presents an opportunity for cost savings, health outcome improvements, and patient engagement by partnering with patients in many aspects of their health. The challenges for health care organizations are substantial but surmountable. As health care evolves toward outcome-focused care, PGD can allow providers to deliver care tailored to individual patients, transforming the way care is delivered from sporadic, minimal interactions over large spans of time to a more patient-centered and ongoing relationship between patients and their providers—allowing patients to not only live longer but thrive.

How the IoT and patient-generated data can unlock health care value
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