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Democratization of data = better population health worldwide

By Mathias Ekman, Industry Market Development Manager, Microsoft, Industry Market Development Manager, Microsoft on March 30, 2016

Filed under Health

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A healthier, more sustainable future for societies depends on sharing health data and insights

With an aging population, an increase in chronic disease, and pandemics on the rise, we need faster, better ways to improve and manage population health. And we need to be able to scale these methods across the globe so everyone benefits from the latest research and protocols, and so care delivery and quality become more consistent across regions. Toward that end, democratization of health data and insights is vital.

For example, as advances are made in understanding stroke risk factors, that information needs to be available to health professionals everywhere, whether it’s a doctor in an urban family clinic or a community health professional in a rural region. Likewise, the latest insights about Dengue fever that come out of machine learning analysis of global data need to be shared as specific steps that people in far-flung corners of the world can take to prevent and manage outbreaks.

So it’s exciting that today’s cloud and advanced analytics capabilities make it possible to exchange data and actionable insights across infrastructural and geographic boundaries. Surrounding an EMR with these technologies can enable worldwide clinical big data to be combined with a patient’s history. Clinicians can then use patient-centric insights to provide care and recommendations based on the latest, evidence-based best practices.

As just one example from my region, Sweden-based Cambio takes advantage of the hyperscale of the cloud and power of advanced analytics to offer a clinical decision support solution that can be used in conjunction with an EMR. It makes it possible for health organizations to complement their EMR with tools clinicians can use to gain powerful, relevant insight at the point of care.

In the past, the only way clinicians could stay up on the latest research and new protocols would be through reading scientific journals or attending conferences. It would often take many years after a new protocol was introduced before the majority of clinicians would be consistently applying it.

Now, by being able to make timely, evidence-based guidance available to clinicians at their fingertips, health organizations can improve care and population health outcomes. And doing so will be the key to a healthier, more sustainable future for societies worldwide.

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