Know Your Data , Know you Health

Date:   Thursday , September 05, 2013

Established in 1998, United Software Associates based in California is a provider of emergency preparedness software, mobile apps and real-time analytics for enterprises.

Continous Medicine

The state of healthcare as we know is changing. People are living longer and finally most people agree that “Prevention is better than Cure”…However prevention requires continuous monitoring and care at the right time.With real time computing platforms like SAP HANA and in an era of “always on” devices (like your smart phone) it is finally becoming possible to process large amounts of health related data coming from various sources and accurately predict and alert both the care givers and the patients about health risks.

The day is not very far when each one of us as a part of our annual medical checkup will also have a genetic profiling done and made available for reference with our primary care physicians.With advancements in genetic research, we are now able to predict rare as well as common diseases way before they occur.Another important change is the necessity to maintain electronic health records (EHR) by all health care providers. By digitizing health records it is possible to quickly access and determine the best course of action in the event of a medical emergency. So finally amongst so many things we have digitized, we are also having a digital representation of ourselves.

Living in an Era of "Always on Devices"

If you look around us, almost everyone has a mobile phone and very soon most of the phones will be smart phones. So for the first time in the history of humanity we can stay connected at all times, thereby making it possible to monitor, alert and even administer health related issues. Already there are several companies which are working on building epidermal patches, which are almost like invisible stickers on your skin, which have the technology built in to sense, transmit and monitor our vital signs.

One of the most interesting outcomes of the social media revolution is the ability to find out what people are talking about. In case of health care we can now get some early warning signs of certain epidemics or eventualities we may be facing. For example in the case of common flu, symptoms like shivers, headache, fever etc. can be detected at an early stage by using “text analytics” on conversations on the popular social media sites and this data can be used to predict likelihood of a Flu epidemic in a particular region. Same holds true for many infectious diseases, disasters and other emergencies since we are now able to detect early warning signs of these things through things that are discussed on social media sites. We are not saying that this approach can predict with accuracy all health care related issues but we do believe that social media sites give us a glimpse of things around us.

Real Time Analytics Platform

At United Software we are building the industry’s first real-time disease tracking and predictive analytics platform using SAP HANA to help Health care providers prepare &possibly prevent health risks you may face as an individual or in certain cases even as a community. For the first time, it is now possible to analyze massive amounts of health related data in “real-time” on a worldwide scale and learn from it. The platform uses many of SAP HANA’s advanced features like text analytics, data federation from multiple sources and predictive analytics. Also, SAP HANA’s in-memory computing database architecture is built in a manner to supports todays connections on devices. The key benefit of this platform is the ability to get a real-time health map of your patient for providing continuous medicine. We have seen some early success in the use of this platform in analyzing spread of infectious diseases and cancer research.

The future of health care analytics is really promising when we will have smart patient monitoring devices which are able to communicate with each other and the brains behind these devices will be platforms which are powered by real-time computing technologies like SAP HANA. At United Software we are already working on some of these exciting technologies and believe that we can play an important role in solving many health care related problems through early stage detection and treatment of many diseases. While we are doing this we wish to acknowledge the contributions of several researchers, health care providers, data scientists and technology companies like SAP.