At the core of every healthcare provider’s mission is quality care. But to provide quality care, you need data. With the advent of wearables and cloud-based electronic health records (EHR) systems, healthcare providers have access to a greater pool of data, that continues to grow faster, than ever before.

If you do not have robust technology for managing and analysing this data, you may feel unprepared for the influx. That is why it is essential to invest in your data infrastructure; architecting a modern data platform will prepare you for the future of data-driven healthcare.

Healthcare data continues expanding

Wearable devices and EHRs are two technologies that have facilitated the explosion of healthcare data worldwide. Wearables collect or acquire the data. EHRs are the storage facility for the acquired data. Modern EHRs are standardised based on FHIR.

6.45 million Australians have a My Health Record, run by the Australian Digital Health Agency, and an essential source of healthcare data in Australia today. My Health Record includes a person’s past and present conditions, medications, treatments and test results. If you visit a new healthcare provider or get caught in an emergency, the people treating you can access your health record to provide the care best suited to your needs.

Deloitte estimates that 320 million consumer wearable devices will be distributed globally this year. Wearable devices have created another critical source of healthcare data. Currently available devices collect data on many health metrics, including heart rate, blood pressure, and steps taken while new devices currently in development will offer even further insights including SPo2 and molecular data.

Healthcare providers can take advantage of this data by gaining access to it after the patient has consented to provide it. Importantly, to be a viable healthcare provider, your data platforms need to support the large volumes of patient information collected from these technologies.

Scaling healthcare data

With so much data generated from medical records and wearable devices every day, your healthcare organisation needs modern data platforms capable of handling the influx. These platforms must be able to scale at a moment’s notice to meet your needs and provide real-time insights.

The expectation is that healthcare organisations are making better-informed decisions with the increased availability of data at hand. With the ever-changing healthcare landscape, it is more important than ever for organisations to quickly and easily analyse their data to identify trends and patterns. But to achieve this, they require modern analytics capabilities. 

With the right analytics platform in place, you can gain insights into clinical outcomes which were previously either difficult or impossible to identify and which, in turn, help you improve your services and provide better experiences.

How the cloud supports data platforms in healthcare

The cloud provides scalability, security and reliability. You can leverage the cloud to store EHRs, medical images and videos, and patient test results. The cloud also mitigates the risks of data loss because data backup and recovery is built into modern cloud architectures.

The cloud offers a central location to store all data needed in your practice. You can store internal data, such as compliance documents, organisational data and patient forms that you distribute. A cloud-based system also increases your cyber security posture because cloud providers implement their own security measures to protect the cloud, on top of what you do for your networks and devices. Cloud providers also offer standardised, state of the art, access control.

Cloud platforms facilitate data sharing between healthcare practises and departments, which improves collaboration for healthcare practitioners and smoothens care transitions when patients see new providers.

Automating consent and permissions

Consent and permissions remain a prevalent problem in healthcare. Understandably, many healthcare providers are hesitant in adopting new approaches to leveraging patient data that could raise privacy or security concerns. While prioritising patient privacy is the right approach, it means opportunities to analyse patient data to better understand conditions and hence formulate treatments are missed. 

One of the issues here is that healthcare providers may not have a robust system for tracking which patients have provided consent for the use of their data in specific formats.

Automating consent and permissions ensures that healthcare providers can feel confident that they are using data with permission and in a context that is allowed. Automation also informs patients of how healthcare practitioners leverage their data. FHIR offers a standardised method of dealing with patient consent. 

Healthcare organisations in Australia are subject to several regulations regarding the handling of patient data. These regulations are in place to protect a patient’s privacy and handle their data securely.

Private healthcare providers must adhere to the Privacy Act 1988, which establishes how organisations collect, use, and disclose personal information. It also requires organisations to protect the privacy of the information they hold.

Another key regulation is the My Health Record Act, which regulates data collection for EHRs in Australia. It outlines what data healthcare providers can collect and add to a person’s My Health Record and gives patients the right to access their records.

Creating a robust end-user experience

Healthcare providers need access to accurate and timely data to deliver excellent patient care. By prioritising a strong user experience, providers can ensure that their staff have the best possible tools for accessing and working with data.

When architecting modern data platforms for healthcare, the systems should be easy to navigate and have an excellent user interface while also handling large volumes of data. By considering practitioner workflows and needs early in any project we can ensure those considerations are included in the user experience to create more efficient and effective systems for healthcare providers and more valuable results for patients.

Fluffy Spider can architect your modern data platforms

We develop integrated software systems for connected, interoperable digital healthcare. Our solutions manage the electronic health information journey from devices to the cloud and medical record systems.

We implement solutions in the cloud and the clinic to make health data secure and available when and where you need it. Our experienced team can bring together your devices, telehealth systems, EHRs and other patient management software to ensure each platform works together and delivers frictionless health.

High-quality commercial software requires a dedicated team with relevant experience. We can work with you through the entire process, from concept to commercialisation. Visit our Healthcare Software Development page to learn more about our capabilities and solutions.