As Nigeria’s population grows , the development of predictive analytics is significant to foresee epidemics, improve treatment methods, etc. Using actionable data-driven intelligence correctly can give an opportunity to avoid some diseases and improve the quality of life for the average Nigeria, an internal medicine expert, Chief Medical Director, Heritage Men’s Clinic, Dr Rasheed Abassi has disclosed.
As technology is the new oil, Medical intelligence is the new currency for medical affairs that would open up the healthcare sector; and should be a differentiator between other administrations and President Tinubu’s healthcare delivery focus.
While many recognise the importance of knowledge and education to Nigeria’s healthcare needs, leading Physician and Medical Director of Heritage Men’s Clinic, Dr Rasheed Abassi, has tasked the Federal Government on pushing the boundaries to take siloed, and in many cases poor, data and transform it into robust, interconnected, usable intelligence. With health professionals being able to store and process a lot off siginificant information, this ultimately can be used to create medical insights and life-saving outcomes when the data is processed.
In his words, ‘This process does not stop at the point of creating insights, because true medical intelligence comes from understanding and disseminating those insights to drive strategies for improving patient outcomes. Medical intelligence starts with data, but ultimately it is about much more than data. It consists of data, people, processes and technology all working together to take inputs from multiple sources and combine them into answers to key business questions and crucial health policy formulation. These outputs are insights that drive actions that improve outcomes for patients.’’
Speaking on why it is essential to ensure Nigeria’s healthcare sector has robust medical intelligence, he said, ‘’Now more than ever, Nigeria needs a program for generating, curating disseminating and acting on medical intelligence. To meet these asks, medical intelligence will be the currency for Medical affairs moving forward. Medical practice, primary healthcare; will enable medical leaders to ensure that the incredibly rich knowledge and understanding they have access to is optimally deployed to advance patient care and enable better outcomes. ‘’
According to the Physician, ‘‘The healthcare industry historically has produced a great amount of information. While a lot of data is still stored in hard copy form, but the current trend of massive digitisation is going to improve this. There is a necessity to improve the quality of medical services and, at the same time, reduce the price. With the adoption and deployment of actionable data in Medicine, the healthcare functions would become seamless, impacting greatly on the lives of Nigerians.’’
‘It is obvious that this trends in technology constantly increases benefits and reduces prices. The latest medical technologies help with patient access and the patient’s experience with their healthcare provider. Moreover, it is solving a lot of troubles Nigerians are faced with. With data, we will see changes in the healthcare industry.‘
Nowadays, Data application in healthcare is based on the highly qualified and fast treatment process. For instance, healthcare reforms in the USA made human beings pay more attention to the efficiency of accomplished therapy. With Data analysis and processing technologies allow doctors to get a salary or payment not for the care process but for their abilities to heal the clients’ diseases quickly and keep their health in good condition.
Moreover, using Data in the healthcare field provides an opportunity to predict the expenses. A huge amount of different statistical data like the number of people with chronic disease, complaints against specific doctors, the number of next visits, epidemic indices, and so on.
Healthcare specialists can use Big Data analysis in order to see the frequency of next visits, skipped appointments , the full time of surgery, if doctors have enough medical supplies, etc.
Consequently, these processes are able to enlarge the number of surgeries and, at the same time, reduce the prices. Specialists may perform post-surgery treatment more quickly and, as a result, provide more patients with qualified help.
‘Nigeria needs to quickly have in place, systems where Hospitals, all three tiers of the healthcare units and academia have created a wealth of data by adopting electronic health record systems that can integrate information from a variety of sources. As a nation, we have over the years, lagged behind in the ability to capitalise on the value of data collection and sharing information. Hence, the Federal Government, at this opportune time, hasthe unique advantage to apply the lessons of other developed countries who have deployeddata-driven health institutions to reap and deliver real value from the data sources they possess. Countries like the US, UK and Canada are proof that actionable data can drive improvements, support enhanced decision-making, and enhance patient experience and clinical outcomes.’
According to the expert, ‘‘Healthcare is a multi-dimensional system established with the sole aim for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of health-related issues or impairments in human beings.’’
The major components of a healthcare system are the health professionals (physicians or nurses), health facilities (clinics, hospitals for delivering medicines and other diagnosis or treatment technologies), and a financing institution supporting the former two. The health professionals belong to various health sectors like dentistry, medicine, midwifery, nursing, psychology, physiotherapy, and many others. Healthcare is required at several levels depending on the urgency of situation. Professionals serve it as the first point of consultation (for primary care), acute care requiring skilled professionals (secondary care), advanced medical investigation and treatment (tertiary care) and highly uncommon diagnostic or surgical procedures (quaternary care).
At all these levels, the health professionals are responsible for different kinds of information such as patient’s medical history (diagnosis and prescriptions related data), medical and clinical data (like data from imaging and laboratory examinations), and other private or personal medical data.