These Companies Are Harnessing Big Data to Transform Healthcare

Written by Madeline Hester
Published on Nov. 07, 2019
These Companies Are Harnessing Big Data to Transform Healthcare
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To say that technological advancements have transformed the healthcare system would be an understatement. Before the internet, patient information was kept in paper files that were prone to misinformation, mislabeling and illegibility. Today, the opportunity to combine digitized data with healthcare research has resulted in improved care for countless patients. 

But with new solutions arise new problems. Instead of preventing lost files, however, healthcare today works to prevent data breaches and protect patient privacy. And that’s where skilled technologists like the two we spoke with for this story come in. Read on to hear how businesses like theirs are transforming the healthcare industry.


quartet health
quartet health

Quartet Health helps doctors and people with mental health conditions connect through technology. Vice President of Data Science Mamta Parakh explained how responsibly managing large data systems allows for patients to get the services they need quickly.


What are the top big data trends you're watching that are significantly impacting the industry?

Infrastructure for processing large-scale data has evolved in recent years. At Quartet, we rely on cloud solutions, distributed computing and open source tools to build robust, scalable, custom pipelines to efficiently and affordably manage large volumes of health data. 

Widespread adoption of this infrastructure has helped data science move from ad hoc data analysis to reproducible long-term research and deployment of statistical models into production at scale. Collaboration between data scientists, engineers, designers and product managers is on the rise, facilitating movement from traditional software systems to learning systems that adapt automatically to change and new data.

 Modern analytics platforms such as Looker are seeing increasing adoption at organizations like ours. These platforms democratize data analytics and empower users to develop a deep and broad view of the business quickly.


What under-the-radar big data trends are you watching that the industry isn't talking about?

Data engineering is quickly evolving as a specialized field focused on preparing large-scale datasets for analytics. Data engineers are architecting distributed systems and data stores, creating reliable pipelines, and combining data sources for advanced analytics. Our data scientists and engineers are enthusiastic about applying anomaly detection techniques to automate some quality assurance and processing tasks.

 We’re exploring frameworks to improve explainability of machine learning models. As we aspire to augment existing physician workflows for mental healthcare, these tools are key to making interpretable recommendations. We’re closely reviewing novel academic AI research areas that are yet to reach production at scale. 

With reliable data pipelines, we can iteratively study patient outcomes and improve care options.


How are these trends affecting the future of your company?

At Quartet, we’re on a mission to improve the lives of people with mental health conditions through technology and services. We’re developing a scalable approach to make it easier for patients to get mental healthcare at the right time and in the right setting, based on their needs and preferences. 

 Large and complex data is needed to understand the interplay between physical and mental health as well as connect patient needs to high-quality personalized care. Managing this data reliably with built-in subject matter expertise enables talented data scientists from many other fields to work toward improving the identification and servicing of mental health needs.

 Building real-time, feedback-driven machine learning with explainable insights into our products will incrementally drive user trust and engagement, which in turn will reduce stigma and help more people get the mental health care they need. With reliable data pipelines, we can iteratively study patient outcomes and improve care options.


crossix solutions

Crossix analyzes healthcare data to create innovative solutions that advance healthcare marketing. Director of Advanced Analytics Adam Dubrow said applying trends like machine learning and AI to real-world patient data can lead to improvements in care and better outcomes for patients.


 What are the top big data trends you're watching that are significantly impacting the industry? 

Some of the most important trends for the healthcare industry include the rapid growth of data available for new applications in improving patient health outcomes, including real-world data from the healthcare system as well as consumer and patient-generated data.

Another major trend we're seeing is the transformative insights and solutions possible through connecting these data sets and applying machine learning and AI. 

There are multiple opportunities for using real-world data for regulatory and clinical applications (such as supporting FDA applications).  With all these trends, we have to remember the importance and necessity of preserving consumer privacy across all industry players and use cases.


What under-the-radar big data trends are you watching that the industry isn't talking about? 

One trend I think the industry should talk about more is the convergence of the data, research and analytical efforts of commercial and clinical teams in the healthcare industry. The shift toward value-based care, among other factors, means that clinical and commercial teams are more frequently asking the same questions. For example, a model that predicts with high accuracy when patients will not take a treatment as prescribed by their doctors has use for both types of teams. 

Crossix technology was engineered to be privacy safe. 


How are these trends affecting the future of your company? 

Crossix, a Veeva company, is leading the way with innovations that will shape the future of the industry. Crossix technology was engineered to be privacy safe, and we’re uniquely equipped to connect massive and disparate data sets in a safe way to power solutions and insights that improve patient outcomes. Our technology and expertise across healthcare and data science have allowed us to deliver the best solutions and insights to challenging problems and we’re focused on continuing to innovate. 

 The trends above highlight some of the dynamics that make the healthcare industry such an exciting and rewarding area for innovation. Healthcare is experiencing more growth in data than other fields (one study estimated that genomics alone is more challenging from a data perspective than astronomy). The importance of privacy is absolute and at the forefront, and the potential impact data innovations could have is monumental in terms of improving the lives and experiences of patients. 


Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies.

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