Military healthcare agencies are increasingly using analytics to track the full patient lifecycle, from admission through to discharge. By understanding when and why patients seek treatment, they’re able to continually assess the course of care and make modifications as needed. For example, a patient who repeatedly needs treatment for the same ailment may benefit from more value-based care as part of the rehabilitation.
At the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), scientists are in the final stages of developing neurally controlled artificial limbs that promise to restore sensory and motor capability by sending electrical signals to chips in the brain. Analyzing the streams of data flowing from the many sensors on the device enables them to understand which factors impact the brain’s response.
And on the civilian side, the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta (CHOA) is using Qlik to monitor and improve patients’ physiological state. In the Intensive Care Unit, patients experience about 1.6 million vital events, resulting in a massive amount of data that was being previously purged. But by storing and analyzing all those vitals, scientists learned that NICU babies were in distress as a result of a retina procedure and subsequently made post-operative care changes to reduce suffering.
Medicine has come a long way in recent decades, and the pace of advancement continues to accelerate exponentially. Perhaps a few short years from now, amputees will receive completely lifelike new limbs, and ACLs will be fixed with the wave of a wand. But for now, I’m heading off to physical therapy.
Image by United States Army [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons