How Big data can Revolutionize in Home Health Care?


Healthcare services are developing with time, and new features are being added with the arrival of new concepts. Big data is such an excellent concept which can be very helpful in the faster development and better deployment of advanced healthcare facilities. Though many people think that big data is useful only in the field of healthcare services that healthcare institutions like hospitals and clinics provide, it is apparent that advanced healthcare services like home healthcare can also gain from the advent of big data resources.

Big data

Proper healthcare begins at home, so home health care services can play a very crucial role in preventing hospitalisation of many patients. Also, this can help the patient prevent the ailment from getting very serious. Thus, providers of such advanced healthcare services are crucial for the proper functioning of the healthcare industry. Such services work with the assistance of the data sent by the patient’s fitness devices. To utilise this data, they carefully analyse the data and search for patterns which can be the key for curing the ailment and its prevention in the future. This allows them to provide customised services according to the needs of the customer. However, till now many organisations have failed to recognise the huge possibilities of big data in home healthcare services.

Home Healthcare: What is it actually and how can it help?

Suppose you are ill, but you don’t want to go to a clinic or a hospital. No problem! If you can’t go to a hospital, it’ll come to you! This idea is the main concept behind home healthcare services, which is essentially a set of services that can make you healthier within the confines of your home. It is very helpful, but cannot replace the hospital based healthcare services completely.

For example, you cannot get a surgery done at your home. This type of service may be new, but it is rapidly gaining worldwide popularity. Already, many new home healthcare service providers have emerged all over the globe. The advice of your personal doctor can be useful before using the services of such a provider.

Following are some services that can be offered to you:

  • Alerting the user if the dosage of a certain prescribed medicine is poorly managed.
  • Proper diet management of the user.
  • Helping the user get a proper nutritional therapy.
  • Providing injection and alerting the user when dosage is missed.
  • Sending health details and vital information for reviewing to your personal doctor.

Regularly checking important factors like breathing, blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate.

Big Data and home healthcare services: How do they Interconnect?

The advent of home healthcare was years ago, in the 1960s. But as we all know, an object develops with time and the technologies associated by that time period. The same is the case with home healthcare services. With the arrival of the big data, the home-based healthcare industries have got an excellent chance to develop a notch further. Some of the ways by which home healthcare industries can gain from big data are given below.

Identifying the Disease from the Data

Many ailments are said to work according to a certain pattern. An example is seasonal diseases, which occurs only during a particular season or a special weather condition like extreme heat or cold and dust storms. Some examples of such diseases are flu and hay fever. Often, pollution and dust contributes to diseases like asthma or certain allergies.

Nowadays, every object that a person use generates data and this data can be utilised properly by home based healthcare providers to diagnose the disease by analysing the data for certain patterns in it. Sometimes, some providers find the patterns and then list their preventive measures along with the symptoms. This helps the patient to lessen the effect of the ailment, and sometimes even eliminating the ailment completely.

  • An example of such a measure is advising an asthma victim to use a face mask in polluted areas. This type of diagnosis and elimination method has helped a lot in the eradication of flu in US.
  • An example of large scale integration of big data and healthcare which helped the eradication is the CDC, which collects large amount of data from thousands of doctors living in US. Then, they analyse the data and update all the healthcare officials about the changes in the pattern. This data helps them to identify the newer, harmful strains and modify the vaccines as required. Such measures can be taken by home healthcare service providers too for full efficiency.

Analysis of the Situation

The data which is received from the patient’s fitness devices can be used for surveying the patient’s situation. It can be used to prevent the ailment reaching its critical stage. This is the main focus point of most healthcare institutions. Big data can be extremely essential for prevention of many ailments by effective medicines.

To do this, many healthcare providers collect data from those patients who often get hospitalised, and then analyse this data to provide useful remedies. The data can be collected from a variety of places like hospital records, ambulance call data and even data from doctors. An example of such a large-scale service provider coalition is the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.

Home healthcare providers can use data from various sources to find those who are more vulnerable to a serious illness and hospitalisation. For this purpose, they can use data from the patient’s smartphone. This data can reveal a lot about the person’s medical history, so it can be very useful. Other data sources like the web can also be used for receiving data.

Prevention is better than Cure

With the advent of big data, the home healthcare companies can drastically reduce the numbers of hospitalisations and emergency situations. In a major survey done by a Texas hospital, the importance of big data in avoiding emergency situations is clear and apparent. For this survey, they collected medical data of 14,000 patients and studied them for possible patterns. Then they devised a special algorithm for estimating the total patients who are vulnerable to a readmission in the future. After getting the estimate, the hospital tailored a special healthcare service for the susceptible patients.

The services were home based and about 50% of people were saved from hospitalisation. This shows how big data can prove to be essential for the prevention of hospitalisations.

Encouraging BigData usage in home Healthcare

For using big data effectively, home healthcare providers will need to spend capital on both training the employees and buying the necessary technology. Also, they’ll have to learn how to manage data effectively and utilise it for efficiency. The data will have to be collected before the start of the program, so that the solution is tailored and well-made. They’ll need to analyse the data carefully and search for patterns too, for which they’ll need worthy data scientists.

Conclusion

Though it seems that big data can be revolutionary in the field of home healthcare services, many obstacles still hinder the way. The technology isn’t quite advanced enough to handle so much data and filter out the useful ones. The cost involved is also extremely high, and this factor can be a real blockage for many providers. So, it seems that it’ll take some time to achieve this as a go to solution.

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