The U.S. healthcare industry, which generates approximately $2.9 trillion annually and is the fifth-largest economy in the world, still lags behind many industries in digital transformation. Getting on board the big data bandwagon has been difficult for an industry that is highly regulated and required to keep patient data private.
The opportunities for data in healthcare has not seen its full potential, according to Richard Cramer (pictured), chief healthcare strategist at Informatica Corp.
Cramer spoke with John Furrier (@furrier) and Peter Burris (@plburris), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during Informatica World in San Francisco, about the transition to digital happening in healthcare. (* Disclosure below.)
This week, theCUBE features Richard Cramer as its Guest of the Week.
Swimming in a data lake for better care and outcomes
There is a shift occurring in healthcare, according to Cramer, that began with HITECH (known as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) in 2009, which helped to define electronic record management. There are many drivers to the transformation that seem to be coming together, he pointed out.
“Arguably, for the first time, we finally have the deep, rich, clinical data that we’ve needed to do analytics with, [and] big data processing power, the Internet of Things and all of the rich sources of new data that we can learn new things about how to treat patients better. And then the final component is … the financial incentives are finally aligned,” Cramer stated.
What he finds most exciting about all the changes is by having the ability to analyze data it enables organizations and practitioners to measure the quality and outcomes of their work by removing inefficiencies that were prevalent in the past and providing value.
With all the conversations over the years on theCUBE, when it comes to digital transformation there is a pattern emerging, according to Furrier: how to run an organization, how to take care of the users and giving the customer or patient a great experience.
Healthcare organizations are behaving like real businesses because the patient experience matters, Cramer explained. As the industry grows, there are more choices out there for consumers. Other sectors are providing a customer-centric experience, and patients are seeking the same results from healthcare providers.
Digital transformation is disrupting healthcare because it is removing the local and regional aspects of going to the nearest hospital and removing geographic barriers. “The goal in healthcare today is we’re reducing cost. You want to push healthcare out of that high-cost hospital into the most cost-effective highest-quality organization you can,” Cramer said.
The telehealth industry — which uses a variety of technologies to deliver virtual medical, health and education services — is in rapid growth mode. According to the global telehealth market report, U.S. patients paid more than $2.5 million in 2016, and forecasts predict that number will grow to over $12 million by 2022. These numbers represent a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 30.1 percent between 2017 and 2022.
Additionally, retail clinic locations are on the rise as well. In 2016, total U.S. retail clinic sales reached more than $1.4 billion, an increase of 20.3 percent per year from $518 million in 2010. Over the past five years, locations increased by 38 percent, according to Kalorama Information, a leading publisher of healthcare market research.
“All of those types of things are traditional digital transformation types of capabilities that healthcare has not traditionally cared about. You actually want to keep people out of the hospital. And as a consumer who’s paying for healthcare, that’s actually a good thing. If I can … get healthcare in a more convenient setting and not be admitted to a hospital; hospitals are dangerous places,” Cramer stated.
The conversations Cramer has with healthcare institutions and practitioners often end up with concerns about data management. Most customers understand that data is an asset that will involve decentralized management and customer self-service capabilities, yet they still feel it is risky.
Cramer believes that catalogs in conjunction with a data lake is the answer to remaining HIPAA-compliant and making data readily available.
“What you want is the data lake that says put all the data that you care about in a place; big data, IoT data and data that you don’t know what you’re going to use, and apply effort at query time and only [retrieve] the data that you care about,” he said.
Explaining that putting information in a data lake doesn’t mean that it’s ungoverned, Cramer believes that cataloging it offers end-to-end transparency and visibility from the data consumer to the data source, and that is the first level of governance.
“If I can inspect it easily and quickly to validate that your assumptions are reasonable, because this is the biggest thing in healthcare. We can’t handle the new data, the IoT data and the scope of things we want to do that we haven’t thought about [in] the old way,” he said.
Healthcare data management could revolutionize patient treatment, and Informatica offers the institutions and provides an affordable way to save vast amounts of data that someone may need in the future, according to Cramer.
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s independent editorial coverage of Informatica World 2017. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Informatica World. Neither Informatica Corp. nor other sponsors have editorial influence on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)