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Health and social care services need a complete picture of their terrain

Mark Davies
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This winter may have been unseasonably warm, but health and social sectors are no strangers to blizzard conditions.

The flurry of technological snowflakes - too often solutions waiting for a problem - is in danger of creating a white-out that threatens to muffle sound and sense and obliterate an already fragile ecosystem.

In snow, we briefly see the world differently; until we step out, plod through the untouched ground and realise we’ve distorted what looked like a perfect landscape.

Our care systems need transforming but we can only do this by having a clear idea of the ground we’re on. If the starting point is a host of service redesigns and new technical devices, the result will be the same: blinding snow-scape.

Our fragmented care system is made up of multiple, diverse organisations and agencies.

The public has justifiable concerns about confidentiality and security of their personal details. Both are significant barriers to sharing and analysing data.

Designing and delivering appropriate care services with the patient at the centre requires the sort of insight that creates a full picture of a local health economy.

MedeAnalytics has overcome these barriers and can create that picture.

Overcoming confidentiality issues by securely anonymising patient data, information is drawn in safely and legally from multiple sources - from hospitals and care homes to personal fitness devices - providing a real-time snapshot of the local health economy.

This anonymised, rich data delivers a big picture view of a locality’s behavioural patterns, but also invaluable granular insight, which - unique to MedeAnalytics - allows the legitimate and secure re-identification of individuals so that appropriate interventions can be made to the benefit of both the patient and the system.

The key words here are ‘predict’ and ‘prevent’. While the data is based on someone’s previous touchpoints with the health or social care systems, the real opportunity lies in using this information to create predictive models and plan preventative measures.

For example, a change in weather can exacerbate asthma and lead to an A&E admission. Predictive data modelling and appropriate planning can inform a simple communications plan, alerting those patients to the weather and advising them to use a suitable inhaler.

Pooling data from multiple agencies also gives unique insights from organisations steeped in silo mentalities. Vulnerable children who present at multiple points - their GP, A&E, police and social services - become visible. Baby P might never have been headline news had data been shared at the time.

The starting point for all responsive organisations has to be an understanding of the messy terrain under the snow; only then can you find your way through a blizzard.

  • To discuss this topic further, please contact

Mark Davies, medical director, MedeAnalytics

Column sponsored and supplied by MedeAnalytics

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