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The Real Value of Real-Time Streaming Data

Paul Boal

Pay per Sickness

You may have heard the old stories of Chinese medicine doctors who would be paid a retainer to keep their patients healthy. If a patient became sick, then the doctor would not be paid until the patient became healthy again. In this scenario, the doctors had a strong incentive to educate their patients about a lifestyle that would promote overall wellness. Contrarily, in our current system, doctors only see patients when something is wrong and only receive compensation when they provide a treatment for that ailment.

Real Value, Real Time

As the healthcare industry shifts away from this fee-based system toward one that is largely based on value, the timely collection and interpretation of data will continue to grow in importance. To add real value-based care, we must harness the two key advantages that provide a new level of precision capabilities: cloud-based data management platforms and streaming data processing and analytics. These technologies allow us to better understand a population, allowing healthcare providers access to reliable and timely information about patient behavior while the patient is carrying out their personal day-to-day activities without a doctor visit. This is an integral step in maintaining the health of communities—managing stress, sleep, exercise, and overall wellness—while also providing proactive “nudges” as a warning before something more severe happens.

A Nudge to Wellness

Richard H. Thaler, who was awarded a Nobel Prize for his contributions to behavioral economics, defines a nudge as “any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.”

These nudges toward healthy behaviors can be made possible by leveraging data from smartphones and wearable fitness devices along with advanced analytics which then help users develop and sustain positive behaviors. Technological advances through the combination of cloud-based big data and streaming technologies will inevitably transform the healthcare system, with the potential to leverage the power of data to cultivate a much healthier population. But, as leaders, we also must stay focused on the crucial problems we face and then choose a unique technological blend best suited for the task at hand.

If you have any questions about how cloud-based data management platforms or streaming data processing might contribute to your organization's success, feel free to reach out to us!