Predictive analytic data can improve the patient experience and enhance the bond shared with healthcare providers. It can also be an important tool to utilize for healthcare marketing by large pharmaceutical companies looking to broaden their ad campaigns.
"Predictive analytics represent a great opportunity right now in healthcare, but we're still really in a state somewhere in between adolescence and a mid-life crisis," Kaveh Safavi, M.D., managing director for Accenture Health Practice, told Fierce Health IT.
By forecasting potential trends, predictive analytics can give those in the medical industry the opportunity to further educate and inform patients about possible risks, as well as prevent potential chronic conditions from going undetected.
The problem? Too few healthcare experts know how to properly take advantage of the collected data, according to experts.
While predictive analytics is a type of tool that can allow professionals to gain insight, there's a failure to act and communicate with patients about these things, according to Safavi.
For those who do utilize predictive analytics, the benefits can be immense. A recent study by the American Heart Association found that predictive analytics helped to estimate the likelihood of an individual being admitted into a hospital after already having a heart attack.
Researchers assessed 51 factors – including age, gender, body mass index and depression – to determine a patient's risk score for readmission. With the help of this tool, researchers are hoping to curtail the rising numbers of individuals chronically admitted to hospitals.
"There's a saying in medicine: You manage what you measure," said lead researcher Benjamin Horne, Ph.D., director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. "Our tool gives physicians a way to measure their patients' risk and possibly manage their care differently."