Leveraging Social Determinants of Health Is Easier than You Think

There’s been a lot of discussion over the last several months in the healthcare world about social determinants of health – or SDOH. These are factors that relate to a person’s physical environment and social circumstances that impact their well-being.

Social determinants of health account for up to 80% of the impact of an individual’s health, but that data accounts for only about 20% of the information collected in a healthcare setting. That’s why providers are now looking for ways to better incorporate SDOH into population health datasets. There are some easy ways to do so – let’s examine. (more…)

What You Should Include on Your COVID-19 Dashboard

In a health crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a lot that feels uncontrollable. And rightfully so. But for healthcare providers and their institutions that are treating COVID-19 patients, there are some steps that can be taken to get a better handle on the situation before them.

An organization’s data is a powerful tool that can be used to better understand patient flow and census – and this is especially valuable during a pandemic. How can you harness that data and present it in an accessible way for your entire care team? Here are some tips for what you should include on your COVID-19 dashboard. (more…)

How Data Visualization Can Help During the Coronavirus Pandemic

There is no more important time for health organizations to use all of the data available to them than in a health crisis. The data can help health officials stay informed, but it can also help inform a response – where and how to intervene. As a result, the care that is being provided can improve and lives can be saved.

The way that data is presented can also make a difference. Many different organizations are using visualizations of the current coronavirus that allow the data be viewed and understood more easily in order to improve the response. Here are some of the data visualizations of the COVID-19 pandemic that can help everyone stay informed, from those worried about whether the virus will affect them to the health officials trying to stop it. (more…)

5 Ways To Improve Data Literacy in Your Organization

A common theme for organizations that successfully use data is the fact that everyone in the organization is on board with the approach to data. This can be difficult when faced with employees who might be set in their ways or who think they don’t have a handle on the data.

But if your organization is committed to using analytics, these are hurdles that need to be overcome. Here are five ways that you can improve data literacy in your organization. (more…)

5 Ways to Get More Out of Data Visualization

By definition, data visualization is about showing information in a visual format. People often get overwhelmed when they see numbers on a spreadsheet or as text in a document.

Data visualization can do more than just show the information. It can contextualize the data and make it easier to understand. Businesspeople often ask themselves, “Why is data visualization important?” Some may even decide it’s not worth pursuing.

However, when done well, data visualization can unlock benefits that may be hard or impossible to achieve otherwise. Here are five things people can do to maximize the worthiness of data visualization. (more…)

The Virtually Unlimited Possibilities of VR in Healthcare

When people think of applications for virtual reality, video games are usually the first thing that come to mind. While VR gaming may be the most publicized and well-known avenue for this emerging technology, its amazing potential for improving healthcare should not be overlooked. The ability to transport users into immersive virtual worlds can be extremely beneficial for both doctors and the patients they serve.

The endless possibilities of VR are already beginning to attract attention. Currently, the market for virtual and augmented reality tech is valued at over $900 million, a number which is expected to triple in the next three years. (more…)

How 3D Printing and Big Data are Working Together

3D printing has become a hot topic in recent years, and is being used in a variety of industries such as healthcare, engineering, architecture, and more. However, there is one key tool that 3D printing relies on that could make or break its future: big data.

Without the existence of this advanced data, some of the functions used in 3D printing would not be possible. But how do big data and 3D printing work together? Let’s examine. (more…)

How Analytics Can Help During Flu Outbreaks

Flu outbreak. Young girls using paper tissues while being sick

Every year, thousands of children are hospitalized because of the flu; several dozen to more than 100 children die each year from complications. In the 2019-2020 flu season, there have already been six pediatric deaths from the virus. Experts say this flu season has been off to a strange start, and may peak earlier than usual.

It’s important for health providers not only to know which children need to be vaccinated, but also to understand where there are flu outbreaks and how they might need to readjust their staffing to deal with surges in flu patients. How can they do so? Let’s take a look.

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Exploratory Data Analysis Part 2: Helping You Make Better Decisions

In my first post on exploratory data analysis (EDA), I discussed why it’s important to get a “sense” for the data you’re working with before applying analytical techniques that may come with critical assumptions and prerequisites.

In this post, I’ll expand on the concepts I discussed in that post and also examine some other exploratory techniques. The goal is to make you familiar with various forms of data analysis so you can use them to make the right decisions for your organization.

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Practical Analysis: Understanding Visualization Concepts

We humans like pictures. We’re wired to process images quickly and effectively.

The evolution of those capabilities over thousands of years has allowed us to survive by detecting and evading predators, finding forage, and excelling as predators ourselves. To support these activities and others, the image processing capabilities of our brains have become especially adept at distinguishing basic shapes, such as lines, circles and various polygons, as a precursor to fully comprehending what the actual imagery represents.

We are also capable of understanding complex concepts, abstractions and relationships. But not all of us are created equal in that respect – at least judging from the distribution of scores on the math component of college prep exams! But even the savants among us reach a limit as the volume of data and complexity of problems become intractable to the human mind.

And though we may differ in our analytical abilities, we do seem to share one thing: our ability to reason visually plays an important role in our problem solving. Let’s examine this in the latest “Practical Analysis” blog post. (more…)