Healthcare Analytics Benefit Patients, Physicians, Providers

Big Data analytics has the potential to uncover entire demographic groups so that caregivers can make decisions to optimize patient outcomes. With this advancement, Frost & Sullivan has projected the global market for health care analytics to rise from $5.8 billion in 2015 to $18.7 billion in 2020.

Warehouses of data are generated throughout the health care value chain, including physicians, private and public payers, and associated services such as pharmacies and medical laboratories. Nuggets of valuable information are contained in these mountains of data, not only on patient preferences, but on therapies and procedures that are optimized to treat disease and injury. Big Data analytics has the potential to uncover these findings by analyzing entire demographic groups so that caregivers can make decisions to optimize patient outcomes. 

For these reasons, Frost & Sullivan has projected the global market for health care analytics to rise from $5.8 billion in 2015 to $18.7 billion in 2020, as shown in figure 1.  

Figure 1. Health Care Analytics Market: Revenue Forecast, Global, 2015 and 2020

Existing and Future Applications

Examples abound that illustrate the broad applicability of health care analytics.

  • The physicians and nurses at the Hospital for Sick Kids (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada, attach biosensors to infants in the neonatal intensive care unit in order to collect data many times per second. This data is processed by Big Data analytics in real time so that SickKids physicians can start treatment of infections a crucial 24 hours sooner than by using traditional biometric techniques to detect infection. 
  • Healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente used Big Data to analyze patients’ outcomes and was able to establish the connection between the arthritis drug Vioxx and cardiac complications.
  • Stanford University School of Medicine researchers employed Big Data analytics to determine that the anti-seizure drug topiramate is an effective treatment for the inflammatory bowel disorder known as Crohn’s disease. 

Genomics will be the next frontier in health care analytics because the technology can analyze the vast volumes of genetic data to speed genomics research for personalized clinical care, improved diagnostics, and new drug development.

Leading Competitors in Health Care Analytics 

As is the case with other emerging technologies, health care analytics’ fortunes are supported by companies that combine their technological innovation with business models that include acquisitions, partnerships, and the licensing of patented technologies. For example, Explorys designed its healthcare analytic tools so clinicians could process more than 100 billion data points in the company’s own database, electronic health records, and payer financial data to identify patient variations. The tools’ efficacy led IBM to acquire Explorys in 2015. 

HealthCore has worked with enterprises ranging from start-ups to some of the world's leading pharmaceutical firms to use its Big Data analytic technology and expertise to create next-generation biomedical products. The analytic specialties that HealthCore brings to its partners include comparative effectiveness, epidemiology, and safety. 

GNS Healthcare patented its REFS™ (Reverse Engineering and Forward Simulation) analytic engine to process large volumes of electronic medical records and genomics data to investigate disease mechanisms with the goal of personalizing medicine and improving outcomes.

Health Care Analytics Drawing Venture Funding

Private capital is playing a key role in developing new health care analytics. A good example is the $70 million in Series E funding by Norwest Venture Partners, Leerink Capital Partners, and others into Health Catalyst, which is using this capital to expand the capability of its health care analytics to further enhance patient outcomes. 

Bain Capital Ventures led $13.5 million in Series C funding for Apixio to strengthen sales and operations for expanding the deployment of Apixio’s health care risk adjustment solution. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield, Khosla Ventures, and Sandbox Industries have invested $10 million in Series A funds to support Lumiata's work with hospitals to study patient risk for Lumiata's solution for preventive analytics. 

Global Trends: North American Dominance, European Predictive Analytics, and Asian Growth

Frost & Sullivan research found that North America will account for more than 50% of the world’s Big Data analytics market revenue for the foreseeable future. Health care is the third-largest analytic segment in the region, following banking and finance. 

European health care providers are using health care analytics mostly in a descriptive role to report on events such as hospital visits. Frost & Sullivan forecasts that predictive analytics and clinical analytics will grow in Europe. Ensuring patient privacy is crucial in both Europe and North America. 

Asian nations are relative newcomers to health care analytics but are making up for lost time by compiling data volumes similar to North American and European countries. Singapore is positioning itself as a regional hub for health care analytics, replicating its role in retail and telecommunications. The island nation is planning to train 2,500 professionals in multiple disciplines, including health care, to conduct Big Data analytics.


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