Healthcare Data Analytics and Preventable Hospitalizations: Translating Big Data into Meaningful Change

Inefficiencies plague the U.S. healthcare system, and the many pressing areas for improvement are proving to be big data’s biggest opportunities and challenges. Indeed, the need to address these inefficiencies is the catalyst to big data’s penetration of the healthcare sector.

Data analytics offer a quantitative, optimization-oriented solution to making significant changes in the healthcare system. Healthcare has an abundance of data ready for processing courtesy of electronic health records (EHRs)—themselves used to streamline the diagnoses of patients who travel between medical specialists—and the databases compiled during pharmacological research.

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Translating this data into insight is a multifaceted affair. Data can be interpreted differently by players in the healthcare profession, but are usually appropriated by the reduction of operational costs and the development and provision of appropriate treatments and care. One particularly important segment is preventive medicine, which achieves both objectives.

Findings gleaned from big data can be translated into best practice through the reduction of preventable hospitalizations. Data can reveal in advance patients who are at heightened risk for common medical emergencies, allowing them to receive the appropriate treatment early on.

Recent developments include machine-learning software that could use patient data to predict these health risks. Predictions backed by big data are remarkably accurate; a program designed to measure risks to cardiovascular health, for instance, has an accuracy of 83 percent.

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Patients stand to benefit from these analyses even in the event of a false positive, allowing doctors to prescribe better health practices and lifestyle changes to eliminate additional health risks. And with checkups costing less than hospitalizations, the system offers to eliminate a considerable portion of healthcare costs for both the institution and the patient.

VitalSpring Technologies provides business intelligence solutions for healthcare costs and quality management. Visit this site for more on the company and its services.

Head in the Clouds: How Cloud Computing affects the workflow of Businesses and Industries

Businesses have warmed up to cloud computing. Years ago, many were doubtful of this technological shift and were hesitant to make adjustments in their office processes to accommodate it. These days, millions rely on the cloud to facilitate collaboration and the turnover of data. What used to be a risk in the industry has come into ubiquity, and almost indispensability.

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Before the advent of the cloud, companies spent thousands of dollars on desktop software, which demanded huge capital outlays. The upkeep for storage these days is not as expensive and individuals can have access to their work files regardless of their location. People from different parts of the world can also collaborate and share files without delay. A year’s worth of files that need transferring can be moved to the cloud in days without the threat of losing some along the way. The ease of transmitting files in this method cuts costs, time, and effort.

However, doing almost all the work online could still be risky, especially for small businesses. Large-scale businesses have the means to provide security for their networks and prevent infiltration by cybercriminals. But those who are not equipped to manage cloud security on their own, especially given budget constraints, could be easy targets for hackers. To prevent these security issues, both small and large-scale companies must be responsive and vigilant in safeguarding their accounts.

Thanks to the cloud, people can do more for less time and cost. It is quickly changing the way people from different industries do business. Similarly, it is also facilitating an inter-industry collaborations that were unthinkable in the days of doing business by paper.

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Since 1999, private-owned VitalSpring Technologies has been delivering business intelligence solutions for healthcare benefits cost management and quality management of large, self-insured corporations, and government agencies. For more information about the services the company offers, visit this Facebook page.

Health care in an Internet of Things Reality

Though perhaps not quite mainstream yet, the Internet of Things (IoT) is now being in used in a variety of ways all across the spectrum from wireless key finders to the Dash Button to even cars. A logical progression is that the field of health care will also benefit from IoT. But what sort of impact will the integration of IoT have on how people provide and receive health care?

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Some experts believe that one great advantage of combining IoT with the health industry means that costs can be cut. Because while it’s understood that health care can be expensive, with the introduction of monitoring systems integrated with internet capabilities (like “wearables”) and encouraging use of telehealth, patients will be able to reduce the number of check-ups unless necessary.

Drug management will also be affected by IoT. Some companies are working on “smart pills” that aim to help doctors, pharmacists, and drug companies, monitor products, thereby improving the traceability and safety of the medicines. Other drugs and even pill packaging being developed right now can give healthcare professionals information about how a drug is used and how it affects the patient.

“Smart beds” are also on the way. These hospital beds are being designed to adjust itself providing the proper support and pressure to the patient automatically, without a caregiver’s manual intervention.

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The IoT’s reliance on the cloud and connectivity may cause some concerns with regards to security and vulnerability, especially in information as critical as in healthcare, but developers are working to improve the security of devices to protect users. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration has also released some guidelines for regulating medical devices to improve patient safety and keep reliable data.

VitalSpring Technologies uses data and analytics in order to assist its clients in improving their healthcare experience. Visit this websiteto learn more about the company and its offerings.

The Feasibility of Uber-like Technology in The Healthcare System

With the growing population of smartphone users, the application of Uber’s business model is now being studied by health organizations and technology vendors alike to improve the efficiency, mobility, and service quality of healthcare providers. Among potential benefits seen are cost reduction, improvement in efficiency of care, and judicious use of both manpower and resources.

While the concept of “Ubernizing” health care looks promising, applying Uber-like technology to the healthcare system will be much more challenging than what most people expect. Here are reasons why:

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  • Uber and the soon-to-be Uber-like healthcare app differ in market segment. Unlike transportation, the demand for physicians, especially in primary care, may pose a problem in terms of supply and demand.
  • The technology will require a powerful infrastructure to move and share data among numerous systems. And in the case of healthcare, much effort has to be exerted as the industry is already decades behind in terms of technology.
  • Even if all the technology were in place, regulatory issues such as privacy and limitation of service might hamper the implementation of the software.
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With these considerations, developers of this new technology must find primary solutions not only in delivering what consumers and healthcare providers want but also solutions to the effective virtualization and implementation of the application. It may take a considerable amount time, but the future looks bright for Ubernization of healthcare services.

Get the latest updates in healthcare technology by following this VitalSpring Technologies Twitter account.

Big Data, Small Costs: Promising Prospects for Healthcare IT

Buyers of health insurance are not only concerned about their health and wellness. Specifically, health risks in proportion to their ability to afford treatment rile up their anxieties. In reality, most of healthcare management pays as much attention to the healthy as to the sick. This is because the healthier ones have the time and strength to learn about new diseases, assess risk factors, and indulge their foresight for potential treatments by absorbing large amounts of information scattered in the World Wide Web.

Perfect information is a fantasy, but the Information Age is equipped to hold down the deluge of data. Big data, a term that indicates both the stupendous amount of information over the Internet, even for a single domain, and new analytics methods to break this down into interpretable components, has been the pet project of many healthcare practitioners and managers for so long. Manageable big data will link the many aspects of health care, from meeting care, billing patients, compensating practitioners, buying equipment, and even coordinating among healthcare facilities.

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Crucially, to address anxieties about healthcare costs, big data will play a significant and indispensable role in uniting all the key players in the system. Electronic medical records can rapidly inform consumers about their health and wellness needs. These can be updated in a snap with the advent of wearable technology, which gather individual health data for real-time monitoring and remote consultations with physicians. Subsequently, a population more attuned to their healthcare status can control the ball in healthcare exchanges by deciding on the insurance plans that suit them best. This consumer power is all the more important in the age of Healthcare.gov, the federal health insurance marketplace set up by Obamacare that subsidizes the purchase of insurance plans.

Companies dealing with big data analytics in health care have a lot of responsibility in their hands. This technology has to be harnessed, especially in light of a new healthcare system required by the Supreme Court-approved Patient Care and Affordable Care Act.

VitalSpring Technologies is a company that has been working to consolidate and connect data from different aspects of the healthcare industry in the construction of an all-encompassing network. For more information on its healthcare analytics services, visit this website.

Taking the straight path to WellZone

Finding the motivation to insert health and fitness-related activities into one’s routine can be quite difficult considering how packed people’s days can get with work, school, and other responsibilities. Even so, staying on top of one’s physical well-being is a must and sometimes all one really needs a little push.

Enter WellZone.

WellZone is a fitness motivation tool wrapped in an exciting social and digital media package created by VitalSpring Technologies Inc., a software company focused on building solutions for the healthcare industry. To help users integrate exercise, proper nutrition, and healthy living habits into their day-to-day life, WellZone makes it inspiring and fun by creating a virtual “buddy system.”

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Since it’s a social networking site, subscribers have the support of like-minded friends to cheer them on and make sure that they’re always focused and following through with their health and fitness regimen. Building on the premise that working out with and having the support of friends makes exercising a better experience, WellZone lets its members share their fitness successes and milestones with friends who are also on the site. Additionally, users can receive incentives and points based on their exercise, diet, and sleep “performance.”

Another one of WellZone’s unique features is the fitness expert-formulated celebrity challenge. The interactive site has enlisted famous celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Mario Lopez, and Courtney Lopez to endorse and lead special fitness programs for a variety of fitness goals like making exercise a family activity, staying fit while pregnant, or using dance to work out the body’s major muscle groups. Seeing celebrities like the three mentioned, among others, try to eat healthily and exercise despite their busy schedules can motivate those, especially fans, who think it can’t be done.

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Even better, WellZone’s system is connected with VitalSpring Technologies’ other healthcare apps like Affinyty, another of the company’s innovations that tracks healthcare expenses, among other functions, and allows the user to receive discounts on health and nutrition products. WellZone also serves as the subscriber’s means of connecting with health experts like doctors and nutritionists who can help the users further manage their health.

With WellZone and its partner apps, users have a direct line to managing their health and fitness and meeting their health targets.

WellZone is another project by VitalSpring Technologies’s founder Dr. Sreedhar Potarazu. Learn more about healthcare apps and software by subscribing to this blog.

Eradicating fraud and abuse of company health benefits

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Employers who provide their employees health or disability benefits out of their own funds are at risk of overspending on unnecessary healthcare and losing a significant amount of money to company health benefit fraud and abuse.

Employee health benefits fraud occurs when an employee knowingly and intentionally misrepresents a fact he or she knows to be false, for the purpose of obtaining healthcare benefits he or she is not entitled to. One example is an employee filing a claim for job-related injuries that did not occur. Employers and managers can also be accused of fraud if they under-report payroll, or classify ineligible workers for lower insurance premiums.

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Employee health benefits fraud affects not only employers: It also results in higher premiums for employees, as well as out-of-pocket expenses, reduced coverage, and inaccurate medical records.

To minimize fraud in company health benefits plans, employers should perform a number of steps. These include:

  • Training their team to recognize benefits fraud and its four common areas: billing for services not rendered, misrepresentation of services provided, sale of durable goods, and providing unnecessary services
  • Empowering plan members to report benefits fraud by providing a phone number or person to contact in case of suspected fraud
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It is also vital to implement a system that detects and prevents transactional errors and allows users to ensure payment accuracy, confirm that financial reports are complete and correct, reduce costs in case of payments errors, and police upcoding and other fraudulent activity.

Vitality, a VitalSpring Technologies, Inc., an enterprise technology company , analyzes all healthcare transactions to identify the warning signs of health benefits fraud and abuse, such as ineligible members, overcharges, and uncovered services. To learn more about it and other hosted software solutions, subscribe to this blog.