I was invited to speak at the 2019 Annual Health Analytics Summit (HAS) sponsored by Health Catalyst this week. We have had the privilege to get to know the Health Catalyst team well over the last 18 months after having selected them to power our health analytics platform. This capability is essential to our future as I along with others have described the transition from “intuitive medicine” to “precision medicine.” This is especially true in Primary Care, where we constantly manage a large number of health concerns and wellness goals whose starting points and care paths can be considered common, predictable and precise (as long as you have enough data at hand).
Data, in many ways, could be considered the raw power for any advanced primary care practice. It’s why I like the diagram below . Like a hydro-electric power system, we collect multiple streams of data, aggregate them into a data lake which was created by our DOS (data operating system) dam, and then send this through the analytics turbines to generate insights for individuals, populations, and our care teams. This process exposes the patterns and best practices for a variety of common conditions, helping us to plan and predict the care (and investments) that’s needed to achieve best outcomes. Helping people consistently and predictably stay well – truly creating a proactive care model – is where this process leads.
I think we can take the analogy even further. Most of this power generation happens behind the scenes, outside of the consciousness of the end user. While incredible effort goes into the architecture of analytic systems, and the associated aggregation and analysis, the end consumption should be effortless, easy accessible, and power all sorts of end applications. Just as with the everyday casualness of wall outlet, the power is reliable, ready, and can be put to work in multiple ways – we should expect our health analytics, associated insights, and other care data to be this accessible. Just as electricity flows freely to power all sorts of end devices and services (except when there is a blackout), we should expect equivalent reliable and fungibility of our health care data to power our care. We have made incredible strides at Crossover to get to this future, but we are not quite there yet. 23 data sources down, about a dozen more to go to achieve full data liquidity.
I also anticipate the rapid evolution of smarter data “grids”. It’s already happening now with new standards coming online, which will help us move away from centralized one-way generation and distribution to two-way decentralized concepts for both providers and most importantly end users. I also look forward to more longitudinal data, bigger data sets with accretive insights from additional experiences, and even more refined and targeted tools to tease out the stories buried in the data. I also eagerly anticipate having outcomes data originating downstream in our engagement platform and from our members flowing back to the source (like rainfall). With Health Catalyst, we can almost envision a closed data ecosystem and renewable power that gets smarter and smarter over time.
I know, I know. You can only push the analogy so far. But it’s a great way to visualize how we are starting to harness the many data streams into a controlled, sustainable, and renewable power source for a better, healthier primary care future.