Technology and Improved Health Outcomes

The friendship begins

Stuart Kruger,  GM, Enterprise & Commercial, SMG Technologies, Australia

The good news is that appropriate technologies exist and are ready to be implemented by forward-thinking healthcare providers.

It is no secret that healthcare services around the world are facing systemic challenges caused by demographic change and lifestyle-related conditions. While a considerable effort has gone into understanding the origins of these problems, comparatively little progress has been made in harnessing the power of technology to help provide solutions. There are many challenges facing the healthcare sector, three in particular being: the ageing population, the growth of lifestyle-related chronic illnesses, and the financing of services. These three significant issues cannot be addressed effectively without appropriate technologies in place to support the speed of potential solutions. The good news, is that these technologies exist and are ready to be implemented by forward-thinking healthcare providers.

The three big challenges facing healthcare services today

An ageing population requires more funding to support the improvement of care coordination. Without this funding there cannot be an effective solution in place to acquire the desired improvements.  Moreover, the suggestion is that as improvements in healthcare continue, this will likely flow through to the average age of populations, so the sooner we can understand, and influence this dynamic, the better. Globally, lifestyle-related chronic illnesses are on the rise. Many lifestyle-related illnesses are preventable. However, when left unchecked, poorly identified, and sporadically managed, they place a great strain on the healthcare sector in its current structure. Prevention, as well as treatment, is critical if these conditions are not to further swamp our healthcare systems. Education plays a vital role here, both of the condition itself, and how best to manage the condition as a unique individual.

The third challenge, may be as a consequence of the two previous ones, and relates to legacy funding models. The changing nature of healthcare needs continue to place further strain on funding models that appear to have been designed to deal with very different levels of current circumstances. Many countries have grappled with the thorny issue of who should shoulder the burden of the cost –-whether it is the state, private sector or the individual–-and who should provide the services to the end user. Of course, regulations have a role to play, and the more chronic the circumstances continue to become, the more difficult the transition is likely to be.

The Role of Technology in Improving Healthcare Outcomes

While these (and other) challenges have been dissected, quantified and analysed, the sector in general seems rather delayed at identifying, adopting and applying relevant technology to help overcome these big picture challenges.

There are clear areas in which technology can play a vital role, and one of the most vital, is in connecting and making sense of the vast, but disparate silos of data. These silos contain anything from claims, to screening programmes, coaching efforts, health records, loyalty environments, the list goes on. These silos, equally, are representative of the significant investments made over time. Healthcare providers, insurers, and public services, all perceive to have valuable information, and it may very well be. The challenge, however, is that these pools cannot be optimally leveraged due to the fragmented nature across different (and many) platforms, departments, and organisations, or just hidden among the organised chaos. Possibly even in the too hard basket.

Technology comes in many forms, and in particular, the form of intelligence-based, advanced analytics, helps to connect, interrogate, correlate, and make sense of these disconnected data sets. Analytics do everything from bringing data sets together to derive greater value from insights and analysis, to improve the precision of enrolments into wellness programs, targeted prevention campaigns and coordinated care strategies.

So while one of the primary roles that advanced analytics play, is substantiating and enhancing existing data within an organisation, more broadly speaking it breeds connectivity among services, networks and programmes.

The aggregation and analysis of data does not work in isolation though. It is about looking at the overall picture without applying a one size fits all approach. The subtle nuances between individuals and cohorts must be recognised. And with technological advancements, the two-way connection to, many (if not all) customers, providers and networks is vastly improved.

How it Works in Practice – the SMG Technologies Approach

SMG Technologies has pioneered a solution that connects disparate silos of data from any format on to a single platform with minimal disruption, whilst supporting scale, reach, efficiency and effectiveness of intervention programs & strategies. This is applied at a population, cohort and individual level.

SMG Technologies provides advanced insights into existing data offering further, deeper insights derived from the application of their proprietary intelligence-based, advanced analytics engine. Additionally, they help clients create a dynamic risk propensity modelling strategy to improve the understanding, assessment and management of risk profiles, and they help identify the areas of opportunity within data acquisition roadmaps, and how best to go about acquiring that knowledge.

In addition to a full suite of digital delivery tools, a key advantage that SMG Technologies brings, is their own authoritative datasets offering extremely valuable information on human function, prevention, rehabilitation and applied subject matter expertise. This means the company has data against which clients can benchmark wellness, prevention, intervention and performance outcomes & expertise. This offers reductions to learning periods of data references.

It is Time for the Healthcare Sector to see Technology as a Friend

We have heard many times, that knowledge is power. If knowledge is power, then applied knowledge becomes incredibly powerful. There is clear appeal for all levels, local to global, public and private, to tackle lifestyle-related and preventable illnesses by influencing patterns of behaviour and supporting sustainable modification of related factors. By providing information in a real-time manner, that is meaningful, purposeful, unique and educational for the individual, means that each individual will have access to increased knowledge, more personalised options and more time to modify their behaviour for the better.

About SMG Technologies

SMG Technologies is the master brand and owner of proprietary software products that employ leading edge analytics for any organisation or individual seeking to  get an edge in training, performance, health and wellness across a range of industries. All SMG products have a predictive analytics engine in situ that provides the power to seamlessly collate disparate data sets, analyse any range of variables and return insights, trends and predictions of patterns in behaviours.

SMG Technologies offers a range of innovative and leading edge solutions unique to the specialised needs of different market sectors including; elite sports and individual athlete; Gym, Fitness centre and Box management, Human Resources and corporate wellness, Enterprise and healthcare services, tertiary education, Academies and schools, community duty of care functions and Community Services. We currently work with leading organisations and sporting teams across multiple codes globally.

SMG Technologies is head quartered in Brisbane, Australia, with teams located globally.

-- Issue 34 --

Author Bio

Stuart Kruger

Stuart is a highly flexible executive with nearly 2 decades of experience across both B2C & B2B channels. With studies in both marketing and business, he has held senior management and leadership roles with industry leaders across a number of industry verticals, in multiple international markets. Stuart's particular areas of expertise are; business strategy & execution, business development and channel partner relationships.

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