Big Data is a term used to describe huge data sets that may be used to reveal patterns through computational analysis. There is an abundant amount of health data that is now available to many corporate opticals. The data can come from multiple sources like vision care plans, labs, medical devices, recall systems, ehr systems, surveys, nps scores, foot traffic and customer purchases. That is just the tip of the iceberg! Whether it is structured data or unstructured, it is surveyed by business organizations to improve their decision-making process.
Big Data Applications in Corporate Optometry
Treating patients and keeping them healthy is always the top-most priority of healthcare providers. Through Big Data, they can keep track of patients’ physical activity and receive reports on particular issues related to their health. There are contact lenses out there at can monitor inter-ocular pressures and blood sugar. Even though there still needs more research, if practitioners had this data it could really revolutionize patient outcomes. The information about the number of glaucoma suspects or diabetics can be valuable to insurance companies, contact lens companies and corporate opticals as this information can guide them to certain patient populations and expand the business for new products to sell in their opticals.
Expansion of Services
Various applications use Big Data to collect information and then use that data to advise individuals on their medical conditions and optical needs. Many times some applications that are used within the organization can also be used to marketing purposes. Based on the input to the application, patients are notified that new products, services and sale of products. Many managed care plans have the patient data from the eyeglass rx to the contact lens. Patients can be notified of more affordable convenient products through their online stores and brick and mortar locations. They are able to take the data from the managed care plans and strategically open locations and compete with other offices based on the information that they have from their labs and data of diagnoses. They could use the data of patient diagnosis to enhance their practices with technology to attract and retain those patients. The data can be also for routine eye exams to encourage those patients to seek telemedicine services. We recently saw VSP looking to acquire Visionworks. There is a lot of data that these two entities can share to grow the business. VSP Ventures is open new locations as well. They have the data to know where certain areas are under served, over priced or even over saturated in competition. Same can be said about CVS purchasing Aetna and the Essilor Luxottica merger.
Reduction of Remakes
Prescriptions errors are a major cost to many corporate opticals. If a corporate optical had information to reduce to detect an issue than it would save costs. Many times there are technologies in place and education for staff members to reduce that. The tool uses Big Data to detect errors before they occur.
Through Big Data, a patient can order a different style frame with the same measurements with reduced cost of a brick and mortar location. If a company as access to data of typical Rxs and average pds than it will be easier to design a lens or frame that the average population might have. Being able to take that data and create products direct to consumers is very appealing to corporate opticals. The guesswork is eliminated and so is the cost involved in them. Many corporate opticals have their own online stores to appeal to the online consumer.
Challenges in Implementing Big Data in Healthcare
Assembling the Data
The data that is needed to implement Big Data in corporate optometry is not always present in one place. Mostly it comes from numerous sources. A big load of information is to be gathered and verified. How the data is interpreted has many variables.
Policies and Procedures
After the data has been verified and validated, policies and procedures are to be followed. This becomes a complex task as the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) needs to be taken into consideration. National standards have been established by the HIPAA to safeguard medical information of individuals.
To implement Big Data in corporate optometry, everyone needs to be informed. It is extremely difficult to manage such sensitive and confidential information.
The Bright Future for Big Data in Healthcare
The technology of Big Data is being used by a wide range of sectors but healthcare is a domain where it can bring a huge difference in. Although Big Data in healthcare is still in its developmental stages, health outcomes and controlling costs are believed to be improved by using this amazing technology. With healthcare Big Data it can be possible to keep track of a large amount of data and easily convert it to get productive insights.