Big Health, Small Data

G5 Partners’ Doug Given shares his thoughts on simplifying healthcare through the lens of small data on Health2047’s blog. Health2047 is an integrated innovation company whose mission is to develop, guide, and harvest disruptive ideas that enhance—at the system level—the practice of healthcare.

We all know it: Technology hasn’t made the impact in healthcare that everyone was expecting. The McKinsey Global Institute’s May 2017 update on innovations in digitization, analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation noted that the healthcare sector had not achieved the digitalization benefits outlined in its 2011 big data research. In fact, healthcare “had captured less than 30 percent of the potential value highlighted previously.”

It’s a conundrum: We find incredibly sophisticated technology being used for diagnostics and treatment, but at the same time, less than 20% of payments to healthcare providers are done digitally, and it’s still virtually impossible for people to share their health records across providers.

We’ve been approaching digitalization in healthcare from the wrong vantage.

For example, Microsoft has 168,000 enterprise customers in healthcare and a huge sales force, yet scaling its HealthVault personal health record platform floundered—as did Google Health’s personalized health information centralization service. Both companies misjudged HIE business models, underestimated the weight of healthcare technology’s myriad ingrained standards and moved forward before solving for key legacy information stuck in an analog quagmire.

Instead of looking at simplifying healthcare through the lens of “big data”—as so many technology companies do—we need to be looking to achieve “big health” through the lens of small data.

You can read more of Doug’s thoughts on precision medicine in his latest post on the Health2047 site here.