“It is not because countries are poor that they cannot afford good health information; it is because they are poor that they cannot afford to be without it.”
– Health Metrics Network, World Health Organization
Health data is of paramount importance for public health policies, programs, budgets and evaluations, forming a strong ground for effective implementation and the basis for optimum health functions. Even a small scale data resource can turn highly effective to estimate highly resolved health effects. However, India’s existing health information remains skewed with large gaps in data collection, dissemination and analysis. With burden of diseases on the rise and the Millennium Development Goals’ deadline drawing closer, addressing the data challenges has grown imperative for effective healthcare delivery.
Data Challenges in India’s public health system
India’s public health department is limited with health statistics cadre with little or no statistical training. The system continues to lack data management, analysis, interpretations of large-scale public policies. Further, issues related to standardized health data collection. The aggregated data are collected and tabulated using different reporting formats by the health record department which leads to dublicacy and redundant data capture. Another challenge of the public health system is the medium on which records are stored. Health departments maintain paper based format and very few of them have opted the computer medium.
With the continuous emphasis of collecting and maintaining correct data for medical and research purposes, another obstacle among record keepers of recent trends is data utility. The practice for data collection is not well known and request for data collection is often misinterpreted.
With the given issues on data collection and sharing, the quality of data obtained from different locations also varies. Key data points when captured are difficult to accurately translate into a common language, which can influence the quality of data.
Integration of patient’s data using technology
The potential of health information technology in transformative healthcare delivery has achieved significant traction, but such technology holds huge potential in streamlining the aggregated data into aunified data management system to address the data challenges in public healthcare system.
iKure’s healthcare delivery is enabled by cloud hosted technology platform that seamlessly integrates various cutting edge technology allowing collection, display, transmission of patient’s generated health data accurately even with least human interface.
Mobile health technology holds great potential to address the data challenges, since it has reached in various segments of the population that have been underserved by healthcare settings for ages. The rapid growth of consumer mobile health market reveals that patient’s interest and use of mobile technology for sharing and receiving information have grown extensively.1 The high rate of adoption for digital technology presents massive opportunity to track patient’s clinical health outcomes, better characterize the behavioral and environmental effects on health and intervene constantly to improve health.2
For example, a basic cell phone is used to collect and disseminate information, identify locations, social contact and connectedness and these opportunities expands with the use of modern applications, computing power, and interface capabilities such as smart phones, wearable devices and m-health applications.
iKure’s Data sources
iKure believes health data will influence every step of the healthcare cycle, from patient experience to care delivery, innovative model and medical research. iKure helps medical practitioners analyze data creating a single data repository.
The data collected through various sources are stored through following medical devices:
Point-of-care diagnostics: iKure’s use of various point-of-care testing device such as digitalized ECG, glucose tests, Blood pressure etc., that create continuous streams of data which can be leveraged by medical field to interpret trove of information for early detection and diagnosis.
EMR Technology: iKure provides quick access to EMR, creating complete atomization of its patient’s medical records. Leveraging algorithm with machine learning, it offers medical experts to answer specific questions based on patient’s health rather than from global and national statistical averages.
Telemedicine platform: iKure extends access to healthcare for the underserved population through telemedicine platform. This has enabled iKure patient’s get access to specialized care in rural areas with no proper infrastructure. As its long term benefits is still unknown in medical research, studies on doctor’s effectiveness to collect patient’s information through digital settings can offer better insights and outcome on patient’s health.
Data for Research Analysis
iKure leveraging disruptive technology innovations are bringing together diverse kinds of data including socio-economics, environment, and genetic information along with individual health status, behavior and outcomes providing a powerful resource for medical research to pose new questions, uncover new findings and validate hypotheses. Towards this, iKure is working in association with Tandem Research organizations, which aims at developing and applying technology to detect early diseases and maximize the potential of its patient database to achieve high efficiency and make meaningful impact in patient’s life. This project will bring meaningful insights drawing from the field of Science and Technology Studies to develop frameworkto understand the sociology of the user and development of ethical and safe AI applications to protect user’s interest and privacy. It will draw qualitative information that is essential to understanding the socio-cultural factors that affect the system and the patient.
Data for Drug Trials and Analysis
With the ability of iKure to capture real-time patient’s health data, it presents wider scope for pharmaceuticals to leverage such data for clinical trials and analyze drug usage. Collaboration with iKure will provide access to million patients’ database providing granularity where pharma companies will know if there is greater benefit of using certain drug for a particular health issues based on highly specific characteristics. Going forward, we aspire to work with Pharma companies wanting to market-test their drugs usage and new trials. We intend to collaborate with public health agencies that are looking to understand what kind of treatments are efficacious and can be plugged together with regard to specific epidemics and save data collection costs.
In view of the privacy challenges related to Data access, iKure is using anonymization algorithm to effectively preserve both patient’s privacy and data utility. iKure’s data anonymization ensures balance between data utility and required participant data privacy. iKure is also using high security measures for the Data Security & Privacy.