“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, it’s data“. This statement is accepted in many industry segments, with many companies building strong futures on data. For them, services are often given away for free or below acquisition cost, as the value in the data collected and it’s secondary use is where the greatest business and thus financial advantage is gained.
Despite this, almost all of the health sector has yet to realise this. The only exception is the fitness/wellness industries.
Within the acute care sectors, both public and private, large amounts of data is collected and stored, and considerably more data is easily available from the myriad of machines and devices used in the daily care of patients. However data is still seen by most as a burdensome cost – both in the cost to acquire and the cost to store. This is despite both of these becoming considerably easier in recent times. The Internet-of-Things technologies have made device interfaces simpler and faster, at the same time that many of the devices have interface ports, both RJ-45 and increasingly USB. Alongside this storage prices keep plummeting, both on site and in the cloud. The sector thinking on ease and cost has not kept pace with today’s realities – data acquisition and storage are now both simple and cheap.
To some this waste of valuable data is seen as a travesty. Particularly, the opportunities present in the data to improve both clinical and business outcomes in Healthcare are likely considerable, and potentially game-changing. as previously noted the ROI for Healthcare from AI technologies is likely to exceed many other industries.
In the world of Intensive Care this is particularly noticeable. Patients are connected to multiple monitoring and therapeutic devices, all generating and presenting numbers for clinicians, often at high velocity. Despite this, the majority of Intensive Care Units remain paper based – so none of the data is electronically collected. For those Units with a Clinical Information System, many still cull the data feeds to only retain hourly values, despite the software being capable of capturing data at 1 or 5 minute intervals. Added to this is that all ICUs have a monitor network, and thus (with the addition of the right hardware and software) the ability to collect even higher velocity data – for example data points every second, waveforms at 60Hz and ECG at 240Hz. The fact that only a handful of Units around the world are doing this, and that the monitor companies do not make this both simple and cheaply available, shows how far the Health Industry has yet to move on this journey.
At IntelliHQ we are setting a standard on this. We are creating a data platform, writing software and planning to capture, store and analyse data at the highest frequencies available from the monitors – the frequencies quoted above. We are already starting to gain valuable patient insights from higher velocity data, and believe that the combination of these data streams and AI will markedly improve our understanding of ICU patients, and improve on their clinical outcomes.
Using this highly valuable data resource, we expect to see evolutionary and potentially revolutionary improvements in patient outcomes.