healthcare data

How data can change healthcare

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What if the data needed to launch the golden age of healthcare innovation is already available?

This is actually the case in Canada, according to Mary Jane Dyckman, managing partner of INQ Law, a healthcare and data law firm in Toronto. And she knows what she’s talking about. An experienced healthcare lawyer, Dyckman specializes in privacy, data management, artificial intelligence (AI), cyber threat preparedness and response, primarily in the healthcare sector.

So what’s holding him back?

Dyckman says one of the obstacles to this technological renaissance is that much of the data generated by Canadian healthcare systems is fragmented across and within organizations. This limits the sector’s ability to innovate through data scaling.

“This is a very exciting time to work in healthcare,” Dyckman says. “Our mission is to enable healthcare organizations to include everything from hospitals to private practices to mental health and addiction agencies and beyond. Each contains a huge amount of data. And these organizations usually have a lot of legacy systems that don’t interact with each other.”

Essentially, the data is not centrally available and not interoperable, she explains.

Mary Jane Dyckman

“Ask yourself: where is your data, is it usable, and what steps do you need to take to ensure its quality? Only then will you be able to get information from this data. That’s when the magic happens. This is an opportunity to transform the sector.”

The starting point for this is responsible innovation. Entry point – Strong privacy and security protection. And not to include the public, the source of health data, is doing them a disservice.

“The public deserves transparency about their data, both negative and positive stories. They don’t know what’s possible because all they hear is the negative about the latest big data leak. Patient-centered design includes them and can excite them as much as we do about the enormous potential for data-driven advancement of our healthcare system. Because these transformations will ultimately help them, and if not them personally, then those around them.

Despite these difficulties, healthcare digitalization already going.

For example, IBM Watson for Health uses cognitive technologies to process data and improve diagnostic results. Artificial intelligence technology is being used to significantly reduce the time to market and cost of new drugs. These are just two of the many ongoing data-driven innovations in the industry.

More Canadian companies are making breakthroughs in healthcare using data, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence or other data-driven approaches.

Dyckman points to two groundbreaking initiatives that are changing the face of healthcare:

Dyckman recently took over as Interim Vice President and General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer of CAMH. She notes, “CAMH, Unity and others are at the forefront of using innovative approaches to improve patient outcomes and improve operations.”

Four ways healthcare leaders can accelerate data-driven health outcomes

For healthcare leaders looking to accelerate data innovation, Dyckman offers some key tips to help you meet your human, organizational and financial goals:

Gather key leaders with high data literacy to drive change

“Data creates opportunities that organizations miss out on if they don’t prioritize them,” she says. “And then, of course, you need the right people at the table. In a healthcare organization, this should include an innovation leader—a person with ability, vision, and influence. While this may vary from organization to organization, it can also include the CTO, CIO, privacy and legal experts, and program managers who drive change.

Collate and organize your organization’s data

“Organizations must commit to finding their data, classifying it, deciding what to do with it, and making it usable. This is a critical early step,” Dyckman advises.

Create a legal framework, privacy and ethics policy

“That, too, should start from day one,” she says. “If you have a foundation based on laws, privacy and ethics, you can scale and discover new ideas. This creates a solid foundation for change. They can never be afterthoughts and should be built into the decision-making process.”

Determine your organization’s execution path

“Every organization will have questions about how to execute the strategy,” Dyckman says, pointing out several key questions that organizations will need to answer:

  • Should your healthcare organization hire analysts and data scientists?
  • Should you create machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms yourself or partner with others to purchase these services?
  • How can healthcare organizations break down silos and work more collaboratively?

“We are at a critical juncture in our data strategy: to participate in this powerful collaboration, you need to get your data house in order – you will want to be part of a group that already has and sees results.”

This article originally appeared on the Vog App Developers website. as part of a series of articles on digital product development. To discuss user app and mobile apps, contact the developers of the Vog apps.

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