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The rise of the data-driven doctor

August 25, 2023
From EHRs to genetic screening, smart watches to pathology results, there's more clinical data available than ever before. And with it comes a new kind of doctor - one who is ready for the seismic shift in healthcare that this data can bring.

Data in the healthcare industry is fertile ground for innovation, but is still considered a relatively untapped potential. As Saurabha Bhatnagar, CHO at Commure, puts it: “Healthcare faces a unique dilemma: It generates more data than any other industry, yet uses it the least.”

But we could be on the precipice of change. The significance of data is being recognised, and advances in AI are changing the way the healthcare industry functions, pivoting the roles of those within it. It has given rise to what experts are now calling the ‘data-driven physician’: doctors capitalising on their data for diagnostics, performance and mitigation in patient care.

What is a data-driven doctor?

In a report by Stanford Medicine, nearly half of all physicians (47%) and three-quarters of current medical students (73%) are seeking additional training to prepare themselves for key innovations in healthcare. Almost all these pursuits are data-driven, such as genetic counselling, population health and coding.

The rise of the data-driven doctor shows a key opportunity for healthcare to bring about positive change, incorporating new insights from emerging technologies into patient care. Data outcomes have the potential to prevent disease, develop life-saving medicines and better understand trends in health.  

Leveraging data in healthcare could also mean an expansion of roles within the industry – not only will we need tech-savvy doctors driven by data, but experts predict there will be openings for clinical architects and insight generators, there to “make the pivotal shift from data aggregation to insight generation—all in the name of better patient and clinician experiences.”

This can only happen if care specialists are equipped with the skills to do so. Although the Stanford report showed a rise in doctors invested in learning more about emerging technologies, many felt their medical training wasn’t sufficiently preparing them; they felt unready for developments in genetic screening, personalised medicine and telemedicine.

Collecting data with Semble

At Semble, this desire to be data driven is clear. Over the last year, we’ve seen a 106% rise in practices accessing their analytics within the system to keep track of not just patient data, but operational and financial information too.

This holy trinity of data collection gives our clients a complete view of their service, meaning they can make informed decisions to improve clinical output, patient care and customer satisfaction. These assessments are particularly crucial in the private healthcare sector, where quality of service directly correlates to a bigger share of the market and an increase in revenue.

“The combination of qualitative information from patient conversations, and the quantitative data from their practice analytics is just invaluable to medical advancement.”

Group 62139 Sara Fikrat
VP of Product at Semble

In order to improve patient care in particular, Semble’s analytics allows staff to pull a plethora of information on patients. Those with specific conditions or under certain treatments, for example, or those in certain demographics, can be compiled into bespoke reports. These allow you to better analyse trends and make decisions that benefit your patients and improve care.

Without storing this kind of information, Sara Fikrat, Semble’s VP of Product, says clinicians are losing vital opportunities to undertake key studies and observations driven by data.

“I often hear from clinicians how expensive it is to run a medical trial. ‘But,’ they say, ‘I know my patients are telling me they’re getting better.’ The combination of this qualitative information from patient conversations, and the quantitative data from their analytics is just invaluable to medical advancement.”

The importance of data in healthcare

A more comprehensive approach to patient care – not just traditional, more reactionary methods of care, but taking into account the genetic and lifestyle factors that can affect our health – is gaining traction.

“A lot of clinicians are innovating the care they offer to patients,” Sara explains. “More holistic pathways and the ability to measure patient outcomes, walking away with a deeper understanding of them, is increasingly desired.”

In fact, the majority of physicians (80%) in Standford’s study advocated for apps that allow patients to self-report data, adding it would be ‘clinically valuable’. They also see value in data from genetic testing. This kind of data will allow our healthcare system to move from a purely reactionary service to a more preventative one.

As technology weaves itself further into the day-to-day practices of the healthcare system, doctors are recognising its potential, and therefore the need to adapt and re-train. This might not be so easy. But in a sea of big data, medical professionals are learning to go with the tide rather than swim against it.  

Want to make the most of data in your practice?

Our knowledgeable specialists will show you how to use the data stored in your analytics to transform your clinic. Book a demo with them today.