There has been ample hype surrounding how the health care industry is using business intelligence to improve quality and decrease costs associated with providing care. The hurdles and benefits of overcoming siloed data, gathering more data (ICD-10), and transmitting data to the right people (portals, security) are well-documented. This has encouraged the industry to look towards the future – towards life style analytics.
Life style analytics are produced from a multi-disciplinary bank of data which allows analysts to analyze healthcare data against other data sources such as consumer spending data. We know that lifestyle choices are highly correlated to certain health ailments – the US Surgeon General reported that lifestyle choices are responsible for over 70% of diseases and account for more than 75% of health care costs. Lifestyle analytics has the power to close the gap between medical care and results, by providing information to professionals about patient lifestyle choices that are identified risk factors for future diseases. Instead of looking solely at claims data to see if a person is diabetic or heading in the direction of becoming diabetic, health insurers and providers can connect consumer spending reports with claims data to offer more specific information about how lifestyle choices may lead to future ailments.
This preemptive medical approach to health care will offer care management to all patients – not just patients diagnosed with illnesses. It will also open the door for payers to better manage risk and sky-rocketing rates. They can benefit from lifestyle analytics by using the information to base rates and renewal rates for its customers. Providers can use the collection of data to better serve patients. While both payers and providers would benefit from the additional data, the ultimate winner would be the government and tax payers. Elected officials and policy makers could minimize costly expenses by penalizing (taxing) citizens that display behavior that will lend itself to future diseases with high costs. Lifestyle analytics have the ability to eliminate information asymmetries that have driven up the cost of health care.
Is lifestyle analytics the future of health care business intelligence? Interest is building, options are being offered and people are paying attention to what lifestyle analytics bring to the table. Organizations that successful tackle the current HIT projects will be well-poised to examine what lifestyle analytics can bring to the industry.