The field of medicine development and medical care seems to have no end to the potential for innovative solutions for making it better: more effective, more efficient, more accessible. This year, several U.S. based initiatives have focused on improving health care through advancements in information management.
Early Warning System
Studies have found that in 2006 well over $30 billion was spent on unnecessary hospital admissions. California based Heritage Provider Network, believes there has to be a way to identify earlier patients most at risk and ensure they get the treatment they need. So they are offering a $3 million USD prize to whoever can find that better way.
A contest sponsored by Heritage and organized by crowdsourcing platform Kaggle, challenges contestants to create an algorithm that will predict, based on three years of historical data, how many days each person will spend in the hospital in the one year after those three-years. To do so, contestants will use predictive data modeling, to examine the historical medical data from anonymized real-life Heritage patients. The winner will be the contestant that is closest, on average, to the actual number of hospital days for each patient.
The goal is to create an “early warning system” for managed care providers and provide a better way to identify which patients need care immediately to improve their health—and save on high costs that would be required during a hospital visit.
Several entrepreneurial health care companies are capitalizing on the API’s provided by wireless carriers such as Sprint. For example, American TeleCare, Inc. (ATI) uses solutions such as a remote stethoscope in clinic-to-patient home settings and a sophisticated, interactive video technology application to access more patients at lower bandwidths. Reflection Solutions provides wireless personal health monitoring, connecting patients and their caregivers. A wristwatch device monitors a patients’ health and physical activity and provides instability and fall detection.