Coming Soon: Doctors As Data Analysts

A healthcare system that is fully data-driven is not that far off, says Kaiser’s John Mattison.

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Uber and Airbnb let you rate your driver or your stay. But many users don’t know that your driver or your host can rate you, too. Imagine if you couldn’t get an Uber driver to take you because your rating was too low.

These mutual rating systems provide an example of reciprocal transparency, and it’s coming to health care, predicts John Mattison, chief medical information officer at Kaiser Permanente. Public ratings for your doctor or nurse? Mattison says it is just one of the ways data, especially big data, will change health care. In a speech at the Big Data Innovation Summit in Boston, he ran rapid-fire through a set of the changes data will wreak on health care.

Change #1: A new data environment.

We’re comfortable with living our lives in the natural environment — but Mattison envisions a new environment is on its way for us to live in. He described something called the “plecosystem,” which is a multiplatform ecosystem for our personal data. As he explained it, people put information into the cloud, use smartphones, create social media accounts and profiles — and they increasingly have a “quantified self” through wearable data gatherers like Fitbit and Jawbone. All of these are also platforms that could be brought together to form our personal plecosystem. He also recounted the idea of the “exposome,” which is a collection of all records of our lifetime exposures — educational, artistic, media, social, health, etc. — to create a full record of both nature and nurture, driven by emerging, dense sensor networks.

Data on who we are in combination with what we’re exposed to in our lifetimes can be a pretty powerful foundation for predictive analytics. In medicine, genetic data is often used for risk assessment for chronic disease, but with exposure data layered on top, it reaches a level of precision that is currently unachievable. Mattison says data from the plecosystem will become part of how health care happens, especially as the price of sequencing genomes continues to fall below today’s $1,000 level. “The cost of sequencing the genome is declining faster than Moore’s Law,” Mattison said.

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Topics

Competing With Data & Analytics

How does data inform business processes, offerings, and engagement with customers? This research looks at trends in the use of analytics, the evolution of analytics strategy, optimal team composition, and new opportunities for data-driven innovation.
See All Articles in This Section

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Comments (2)
Job Too
Doctors in making diagnosis are indeed data analysts as well as end users. The logical progression is that soon we should be able to send data on our illness to a database equally suited to prescribe a treatment solution.
ANGELA I LIN
Thank you for the blog. 
The volume of the health data is enormous. The doctors know that, and would be quick to acknowledge the importance of the role " local data concierges", in both gathering and dispensing data.  

The challenge remains to deliver the care to the individuals who actually need it.