Health tech's full potential lies in combining medical, social determinants data: report

Despite low meaningful use and skyrocketing complaints of physician burnout, EHRs and other data-driven healthcare technology offer great potential for streamlining healthcare delivery — so long as they are driven by the right combination of data.

A new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Technology Engagement Center explains how, when equipped with a breadth of patient data, healthcare technology will do much more than simply provide easier access to medical records.

Enhancing existing records — comprising medical histories, interventions and outcomes — with genetic information, data from wearable devices and, most importantly, social determinants of health data will empower patients, physicians and other healthcare administrators to access and deliver more personalized, and therefore more effective, care.

"Relationships between factors, symptoms and treatments on the one hand can be analyzed with outcomes to see who is more likely at risk for certain health problems and which treatments or combinations of treatments are most successful in treating the patient. Researchers will have a new resource to improve medicine. To the extent that records also capture costs or can be linked to costs, administrators may be in a better position to identify where expended resources are utilized more wisely and where patient outcomes are better," the "Data for Good" report suggests.

View the full report here.

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