MarkLogic recently participated in a Becker’s Hospital Review podcast sponsored by NTT Data. The panel of speakers offer expert insight into how their companies are partnering to better manage data sources and advance intelligent decision-making and program development in healthcare. The speakers included Karen Way and Dr. Suman De, Global Practice Leads for Health Plan Data and Intelligence at NTT Data Services; Jim Sears, Senior Director of Global Strategic Alliances; Bill Fox, VP Vertical Strategy Group and Chief Strategy Officer of Healthcare and Life Sciences at MarkLogic; and Dr. Stephen Newman, Executive Chairman of CentraForce Health and the former Chief Officer of Pennant Health Systems.

Here are a few excerpts from the discussion:

Q: How can health plans leverage data to inform their decision-making?

A: Bill Fox: Both payers and providers want to become data-driven organizations to effectively leverage all the data that they collect across their organizations, as well as from sources across the ecosystem, to gain new insights, improve outcomes, cut operational costs, etc. The challenge they face in making this transformation lies in the traditional, rigid data architectures they’re sitting on. What’s needed is a data platform that can bring all of an organization’s data together, with newly emerging sources of data, and operationalize it to really transform into this new kind of agile, data-driven healthcare enterprise that empowers them to use all of their data to better inform the answers to all of their questions.

Q: What is the impact of all this data on healthcare, in general?

A: Dr. Stephen Newman: We at CentraForce Health believe that the use of non-traditional patient data, such as self-reported health attitudes and behaviors, is a powerful and actionable adjunct to the traditional encounter data coming from payer claims and provider electronic health records. The largest and most daunting challenge for payers and providers will be the assessment of rising risk in populations that seem healthy. Utilizing NTT Data’s Business Insights Engine, payers and providers can obtain a 360-degree view of the member or the patient whether inside or outside of the care setting. As a valued partner of NTT Data, CentraForce Health provides users of the Business Insight Engine data and actionable insights that prove clinical outcomes while at the same time driving down the cost of care.

Q: How can artificial intelligence be utilized in these efforts?

A: Dr. Suman De: Artificial intelligence is moving into the business stream for every organization and especially healthcare organizations. And from our recent statistics, we will see in 2019 that 20% of digital transformation initiatives will be supported by cognitive and AI capabilities—providing timely, critical insights for new operating and monetization models. Today’s healthcare organizations see a need to rethink their traditional approach of sorting and managing big data and consider moving to a next-generation data management system like the NTT Data Business Insights Engine, a multi-model data management platform that perfectly answers this need. The potential for such a data management system is definitely going to support a wide range of AI capabilities that organizations really need in order to make their business transformations. From autonomous robotics to emerging analytics for incidental findingsor even predicting the service utilization models for members or patients—the ability to more easily leverage artificial intelligence hinges on continued development of agile data management technology and platforms.

Q: What is the biggest misconception health plans have about big data?

A: Jim Sears: I think the list can get pretty long. To distill it, I would say that most people think it’s too hard to get a 360-degree, real-time view of consumers, patients and physicians. Why? It’s really because the volume, the velocity and the variability of the data make it difficult to integrate using legacy technologies, or even more modern data lake technologies. We all know that an onerous amount of time is spent on data modeling. You can easily end up with a year-long project with questionable ROIs that reinforce the misconception that big data is too difficult. Today, MarkLogic is working with NTT Data, much like when we worked with HealthCare.gov to break down the data silos and develop repeatable solutions for the healthcare industry that provide real-time, 360-degree, insight-achieving, real results that you could previously only aspire to. It’s really about running the business in an agile manner vs. simply observing the business, which is where I think a lot of these data projects end up.

Q: What solutions does NTT Data offer health plans that are looking to manage data?

A: Karen Way: We have a new solution that we’ve been working on for the past year called the Business Insights Engine, and as was mentioned, it brings together data from multiple different data sources—multi-model as Dr. Suman De mentioned—where we can have structured, unstructured, semi-structured, graphical, spatial, any kind of data, the IoT wearables data, bringing that in, as is. Once that data is stored, then we go through a process called “harmonization,” where we create a single canonical model of all of that data. So it’s all in one repository and format. You can go after that data with advanced analytics like AI and machine learning to create that truly 360 view of a member, a provider or a claim. But, you can also create that view with the different lenses through which an end-user might look at it. So, for example, a provider might look at a patient/member slightly differently than a health plan, and very differently than the employer group that the member belongs to would look at it. In this environment, in the Business Insights Engine, we have constructed the solution in such a manner that it doesn’t matter which lens you’re looking through, you’ll be able to find the information you need, in near real time, to be more proactive in either outreaching to the member or intervening, in some cases, to improve outcomes and prevent catastrophic issues, such as heart attacks that could require spending days, weeks or months in the hospital.


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