What is the real challenge?
In the last few years, the challenge regarding data and information has shifted. Previously, the main challenge within healthcare was gathering data, as such, all information was recorded on paper, some was not written down, and inevitability this data was not accessible to all.
The problem is now not gathering this data; technology enables us to do this. The question is:
“How do I make the most of all this data that is accumulated?”
There are several barriers preventing healthcare providers from optimising their use of data; a key challenge being the existence of complex, disconnected legacy systems comprising of diverse applications and devices – some new, most old.
In healthcare, we cannot predict what will happen day by day, and therefore systems must be flexible in preparation for constant changes. At present, the power to make these changes is not in the right hands – the people who use this data. Any changes to systems typically require extensive support from IT teams and may demand a complete technology estate change. In addition, old architecture is often closed, highly guarded, and requires an expensive proprietary license for research, resulting in limited opportunity to share and analyse data.
In light these challenges, how can we ensure we sustain efficient and impactful use of data?
Let’s find out…
Heathcare data must be moved efficiently, reliably and securely across complex landscapes. To achieve this, we must simultaneously build two environments: “On demand” and “Event driven”.
Now let’s explore these two environments…
Building “On-demand” environments
The first key environment that must be developed is “on demand”, in other words, a platform that can be accessed or changed instantly and easily, whenever and wherever necessary. These solutions are highly flexible and self-service for both clinicians and patients, with the opportunity for scalability.
Why do we need on-demand environments?
Accurately predicting the rapidly fluctuating environment within healthcare is hard and maybe even impossible. These shifts can be society changes or reactive changes, for example COVID. COVID taught us that we cannot rely on traditional “slow and steady” IT as these do not react quickly enough. We do not have time to wait for expensive, slow IT projects to gradually change the way we work. It is important that tools empower the end users; the people who need the data the most. Users need to be able to build their own solutions, quickly, effectively, securely and intelligently.
The impact of Covid-19
Covid-19 forced the healthcare sector to adopt new technologies a lot faster than initially planned. On-demand environments proved to be a necessity, not just a means to improve patient and clinician experiences.
The impact demonstrated the need of flexible technology, as new forms of patient data needed to be recorded instantly, for example, if the patient was Covid positive or negative. Without flexible technology, clinicians are forced to resort back to unreliable, paper-based systems. The adoption of on-demand technology empowers clinicians to make changes to their systems and meet new requirements, without the need of extensive support from IT teams.
What are the benefits of on-demand environments?
Cost savings across the entire care/ supply chain
Purchasing, upgrading and maintaining hardware can be costly. On-demand environments prevent the need to adopt an entire new system to make changes. A driver-based model with open APIs means that solutions can be scaled easily and work in collaboration with practically any medical device or clinical instrument, allowing the system to make full use of data.
Many on demand cloud native computing services are user friendly, with easy access to data. Users can acquire additional resources without any help from IT teams; improving agility and collaboration between teams.
The power of change
The power of change is handed back to the people who use the data, whilst maintaining protection and governance. Users no longer need extensive support from IT teams, PPM or change managers to make system changes.
Fast and convenient for patients
Access to healthcare for patients is enhanced through online, real-time services. Patients can access treatment without the need of visiting a doctor or arranging a home visit, saving time travelling and increasing convenience. In fact, 64% of UK consumers revealed that their satisfaction with healthcare services relied on waiting times and appointment speeds.
However, building “on demand” environments must be done whilst keeping the second point in mind:
Building “Event-driven” environments
Event Driven Architecture (EDA) is a software design pattern that enables IT systems to have increased awareness of every “thing” that happens. This could be a piece of information that is created, changed, deleted, viewed etc. Every “thing” that occurs becomes an event that can be monitored and used to generate greater predictions. Simple principles can be built, for example, if “X” happens, then “Y” should be done, with this basic logic “baked in” to the data itself.
Event Driven architectures rely on robust, well-crafted APIs and connection end points. APIs are tools that enable one program to talk to another, including predicting all the ways in which the program may communicate, and therefore these require frequent changes and updates. This is vital for ensuring rapidly-built, critical healthcare solutions can talk to each other, which will drive value and benefit across the whole Healthcare ecosystem.
Why do we need event driven architecture?
Healthcare data is wide and detailed – there are countless “types” of data, all of which can relate to a case. It is difficult to predict what will be useful from one patient to the next, or one day to the next. To manage the large amount of incoming data, real time processing with event-driven architecture can be used to help better detect important “events” or “data”. This will enable important information or potential health threats to be identified from a broad range of sources with significantly greater intelligence, helping ensure that the appropriate care or intervention is delivered in time.
What are the benefits of event-driven environments?
Better patient outcomes driven by data
With a clear view of everything that is happening in real-time, interventions can be identified sooner to ensure appropriate action is taken and, in turn, optimum patient care is delivered.
Infinite scalability for robust and flexible services.
Applications that are event driven are not dependent on each other’s availability, thus they can be independently tested, updated or deployed without interruption to the present service. Past events can be ‘replayed’, which can help to recover data or identify patterns.
Components can be easily and independently scaled up or down across networks, increasing responsiveness to change and ensuring fluctuating healthcare requirements are met.
Powerful real-time response and analytics
Applications can respond to healthcare changes in real-time and make predictions based on current and previous data. This facilitates the identification of interventions to ensure high levels of patient care and optimal staff efficiency.
Adopting these environments will help achieve more personalised care and greater predictive solutions when it comes to patient health. On-demand environments will deliver flexible solutions that enable healthcare workers to keep up to date with modern healthcare needs. In addition, event driven architecture can predict and detect potential health threats a lot simpler, listening to and subscribing to the events, helping identify intervention. The benefits are obvious, but it is vital that security is maintained. In combination, these environments will help enhance staff efficiency and optimize patient outcomes, ensuring we provide a sustainable solution for the future of healthcare.
At Kinseed, our guiding principle is to build future-proof, fit for purpose, and sustainable digital solutions; designed in partnership with end users and enabled by the right tech.
Every element of Swiftcare is inherently configurable and flexible, meaning our applications can be tailored and defined by our client based on the data that they need. Our modular systems architecture puts the “power of change” back to those using the data – with protection and governance, enabling users to build their own ways to work with data without code or expensive ITC.
Swiftcare is also built using event driven architecture. Our solutions use Solace’s streaming and management solution to help our architects and developers collaboratively design, reuse and manage event steams, event-driven APIs and event-driven applications. Some of our event driven applications include MediConnect, which enables healthcare providers to connect legacy clinical apparatus without expensive refits and equipment purchase; and MediVue, which enables real-time, remote monitoring of clinical instruments and devices.
Kinseed’s SwiftCare suite is helping care providers globally to change the way they work with patients, data, and resources.
Click here to find out more about our SwiftCare solution and how it is supporting healthcare providers worldwide