Amazon Web Services (AWS): Innovating Healthcare Technologies

Organisations large and small, regardless of location or industry are highly likely to use Amazon Web Services (AWS), given their global reach as a provider of cloud solutions. The AWS Marketplace is a digital catalogue with a dizzying range of solutions designed to improve business operations. Categorised by industry, we are only concerned with their solutions in the ‘Healthcare and Life Sciences’ category. By using AWS, healthcare organisations can ensure business continuity, optimise processes, provide tools to enhance clinical care, diagnostics and treatment and use new analytics capabilities and machine learning technologies. This is achieved while meeting both regional and global security and privacy requirements. Broadly speaking, AWS healthcare solutions are broken down into the following categories: Core operations and business continuity Care Coordination Health Analytics Patient Engagement Clinical Information Systems Storage and Archiving Compliance Each category is important, of course, but it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for your organisation. After all, there are more than 1600 software vendors in the AWS Marketplace, covering everything from analytics and telehealth solutions to real-time robotic assistants in surgical training scenarios. For brainstorming purposes, why not read up on some of the available use cases that could be applied to your situation? Note that there is some expertise required to set up, configure and maintain AWS solutions, the majority of which are pay-as-you-go. However, with a trusted partner, you do not need a high level of technical expertise, even to incorporate healthcare data analytics. The extraction of useful insights from medical data is complicated by the fact that much of it is free-form text (such as handwritten doctor’s notes, clinical trial results and medical records), none of which are easily catalogued by traditional means. However, with AWS Comprehend Medical, all this data is easily manipulated for maximum results, compiling a viewable set of data by treatment, medication dosages and any other variables you’d like defined. Such information is key to population health analytics, clinical research and pharmacological analysis and the extracted data can then be linked to electronic health records if necessary. AND, all of this is achieved without hiring data scientists to refine algorithms or create new ones. In conclusion, we highly recommend AWS to our clients and utilise some of their solutions when rolling out innovative and fully-compliant healthcare solutions for the Australian market. Byte IQ is proud to be an AWS partner as well as an AWS client. Our technologies including Healthcare data lakes, AI/ML, and security tools are all built on AWS cloud technologies.

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The Role of Data Analytics in the Australian Primary Care Sector

Healthcare data is valuable and a favorite target of cyber criminals globally. Data privacy and security standards apply to all who handle healthcare information and rightly so. Unfortunately, when every clinic, hospital, and primary care provider stores all their data in isolation, insights into overall population health become near impossible to find. There is no central repository, even for data with personally identifiable data (PII) stripped away. This in turn stifles innovation, whether in the form of clinical drug development, research, or product development and innovation for the healthcare industry. Despite this, even at a single location, there is a place for healthcare analytics. If you cannot analyse nationally, by state, or even by city, it is still possible for each healthcare provider to use analytics to enhance patient care and maximise their profit margins. Let’s look at how healthcare analytics can aid operation goals. Operations The purpose of collecting administrative health data include but are not limited to: Managing individual patients and continuity of care Streamlining healthcare service delivery at all levels, and maximising treatment room turnover Managing and administering hospital and healthcare service delivery Keeping track of healthcare costs including billing for goods and services delivered Informing and evolving the health system policies Ensuring reliable and consistently high quality of care. Other Applications While analytics can improve efficiency, it is also used to identify patterns in healthcare data that go far beyond the per-patient clinical diagnosis. Telehealth monitoring devices can identify stress triggers in those with high blood pressure or diagnose those with intermittent cardio problems. Wearable devices such as fitness trackers are added to the mix and can act as diagnostic tools, with primary care providers referring to specialists as needed. Risk factors such as age, genetic predisposition, demographic, location and environment are introduced (in the form of algorithms) to provide preventative care to patients, and ideally before symptoms present. In conclusion, while data isolation is a problem for Australia as a whole, primary care providers can use their own data to enhance patient care and increase operational efficiency. There is no doubt that the use of data analytics will continue to grow along with electronic medical records (EMRs) and trials of new solutions (such as medication management by Box Hill Hospital) will only aid widespread adoption of future innovation in analytics. In the meantime, can you afford to cling to legacy systems while your competitors adopt analytics?


The Contested Space of Data Analytics in Healthcare

With the combined global market in healthcare data analytics predicted to exceed $43m by the end of 2022, it’s no surprise to discover that there are many companies seeking to dominate the area. You have the usual big players such as IBM (pioneer of the Watson AI) and SAS. Others, such as Ayasdi and Digital Reasoning Services develop AI-based solutions to transform multiple industries, including healthcare. You have Linguamatics, focused on healthcare and offer solution to many of the global pharma companies. IoT-based solutions to enable analytics are offered by Telit and care syntax. Others include Lumiata, Roam Analytics and Enlitic. After that, there are hundreds of other companies, all vying for your consideration. Why? Because healthcare data is useful and valuable, and not just for cybercriminals. The aims of healthcare data analytics include but are not limited to: Reducing administrative costs. Forecasting supply & demand – anything from facilities traffic to supply chain requirements. Improving patient care – supporting evidence-based decisions, for example. Improve drug discovery in clinical trials. Predict patient responses to medications. Insurance companies can assess risk before quoting. Choose YOUR Analytics Provider The decision to invest in healthcare data analytics is not one taken lightly. Before you do, consider what’s needed, your location, your data complexity and quality and identify any potential challenges. It’s one thing to plump for a big player and discover you need a data scientist to make sense of it. Or that your selection has little knowledge of the medical industry or Australian data and privacy laws. Let’s be honest… As a medical professional, you want to maintain your existing role and not get bogged down with technical requirements, issues with poor quality data or analytics challenges that require advanced skills to remove. It’s for that very reason that you need a trusted partner, based in Australia, with intimate knowledge of the industry and the pressures facing healthcare professionals. It’s a fact that providers who focus on complex analytics fail yet those vendors who provide relevant, simple and to the point metrics are being adopted by the industry. Why not talk to us to discover the practical benefits of data analytics in healthcare?