Healthcare gets the IT Treatment

by Paul Taylor (SAP) on February 23, 2015

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Information Technology is playing an ever greater role in healthcare, from helping doctors improve outcomes by tailoring treatment to an individual patient through DNA sequencing, to developing new and more effective drugs with fewer side effects. [click to continue…]


Healthcare gets the IT Treatment

by Paul Taylor (SAP) on February 23, 2015

Information Technology is playing an ever greater role in healthcare, from helping doctors improve outcomes by tailoring treatment to an individual patient through DNA sequencing, to developing new and more effective drugs with fewer side effects.
But there is another important, though perhaps less visible, way in which IT is being used to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare. Healthcare providers desperately need tools that will enable them to sift through the huge mountains of patient-related data in order to discover insights, make better informed decisions and, on occasion, detect fraud.
medical_logo_by_vishalpandya1991-d5zs5syHealthcare is the classic ‘data-rich, information- poor’ business. It is a Big Data problem that impacts almost every type of organization – including the hospitals, insurance companies, medical groups and dental practices that make up our healthcare systems.
Meanwhile, healthcare providers everywhere are struggling with rising costs, an aging patient population and the need to deliver continuous improvement in the quality of care. Like other businesses, healthcare providers are being asked to do more with less.
Harnessing the power of Big Data analytics and the speed of in-memory processing may be the only way to deliver the insights that medical professionals and administrators need to bridge the gap between healthcare demand and supply. Ultimately, the competitiveness and viability of healthcare institutions may well depend on their successful adoption of a data-driven strategy.
Many of the latest innovations in the application of IT to healthcare are being driven by small, entrepreneurial companies including those involved in SAP’s Startup Focus program. Some, like Phemi Health Systems and GaussSoft are using the power of SAP Hana to deliver innovative predictive analytics systems targeting healthcare providers specifically.
“As healthcare organizations move to value-based care to lower costs, drive quality and improve outcomes, they become critically dependent upon access to high quality information,” explains Adam Lorant, Phemi’s VP, Marketing & Product Management.
“An information chasm exists in healthcare organizations (HCOs) today,” he adds. “It’s time for HCOs to move beyond analyzing claims data alone, and truly embrace the depth and breadth of clinical data in a hospital to derive new insights.”
Vast amounts of data are generated as a result of medical tests and examinations ― including patient records, radiology images, and digitalized lab results.  The problem is that typically this information is locked away in information silos. Some healthcare organizations store data in literally hundreds of different and incompatible information systems.
The Vancouver-based startup teamed up with SAP to address this problem and build what it calls the Phemi Central Big Data Warehouse. The system uses Big Data techniques to unlock information trapped in non-relational and unstructured data like x-ray images and doctor’s notes, across an organization. “More than 70 percent of healthcare information is unstructured and difficult to mine for relevant insight using traditional methods,” says Paul Terry Phemi’s CEO. Phemi’s software converts this unstructured data into structured data while managing information privacy, security and governance.
Phemi Central can handle hundreds of petabytes of historical data, converting Big Data into what it calls ‘Small Data’ and feeding the most frequently accessed information into SAP’s Hana. Then, using predictive analytics tools, clinicians can calculate risk scores, develop a patient care plan and minimize the costly need to re-admit a patient.


Phemi claims the system is up to 60 percent cheaper to run than a traditional data warehouse system and that new data can be added 35 percent faster while minimizing the risk of data leakage – crucial in the highly regulated healthcare sector – because privacy, security and governance features are baked into its design from the outset.
GaussSoft also uses SAP Hana as its primary database and warehouse tapping into the mass of financial data across a healthcare enterprise to understand what drives profitability and enable users to make decisions that improve the bottom line.
Instead of relying on averages or aggregated costs, GaussSoft’s technology enables healthcare providers to examine the actual costs incurred in delivering patient services and the profit or loss associated with a particular patient outcome. This is particularly significant when you consider that a hospital with perhaps $1bn in annual revenues, may have 25,000 different charge items and perform two or three hundred different procedures.
”Today a hospital’s top line revenue generation emphasis is giving way to a bottom line focus driven by healthcare value, and reduced reimbursements,” explains GaussSoft’s Hal Daseking. “Increase the number of procedures to increase revenue and the bottom line seemed to follow. Average and aggregate costs based on revenue models were good enough. Now a healthy bottom line requires a painless way to determine more precise margins.”
Using the company’s Profit Analysis and Sythesis (PAS) for Healthcare software, Gauss Soft compared the realistic cost (NFC) for each of 200 typical hospital procedures, to the traditional ‘average RVU’ cost. (Relative value units (RVUs) are a measure of value used in the US Medicare reimbursement formula for physician services.)


<em>Revenue (x-axis) &amp; Profit (y-axis) for each of over 200 procedures based on RVU (top) and NFC (bottom) cost accounting methods</em>

It revealed that the traditional method for calculating costs masked losses in 40 percent of procedures and was unable to precisely measure margins (off by typically 35precent) making managing the bottom line next to impossible. By using Gauss Soft PAS, the company claims one large hospital group increased their margin by 40 percent over 3 years while and another hospital achieved a positive total margin (from a loss) in 6 months.
Such results may not capture the headlines in quite the same way as the development of a new breakthrough drug. But the health of our healthcare systems and our ability to continue to improve patient treatment may well depend on harnessing IT and Big Data analytics in particular to detect hidden patterns in data, predict healthcare outcomes and improve efficiency so that more patients can be treated.


Decoding the Human Proteome with SAP HANA to Better Fight Disease

by Thomas Leonhardi (SAP - Global Head of TV Media Relations on January 29, 2015

ProteomicsDB_Logo_transparent-21Scientists at the Technical University Munich made a major advance in basic research by building a map of the human proteome. This could help in the future to fight diseases like cancer, diabetes, dementia and others.

proteomics-female-body_small2If you want to understand a cell’s structure you have to examine the proteins inside it. An infected cell can be differentiated from a healthy cell by the presence of proteins and their levels. [click to continue…]


Overcoming the Trust Deficit

by Paul Taylor (SAP) on January 6, 2015

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A wave of digitization is sweeping aside old business models, empowering citizens by increasing government transparency and enabling not-for-profits and other organizations with social agendas to make progress on some of the biggest challenges facing humankind today.

Like the agrarian and industrial revolutions that preceded it, the data-driven Network Economy has the potential to generate a new wave of innovation, global economic and employment growth, and international trade. [click to continue…]


Building the Business Network

December 4, 2014
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Sometimes in the heat of a mergers and acquisition moment, it is difficult to see the wood for the trees. The details obscure the bigger picture.
So it was in September when SAP announced the headline-grabbing $8.3bn acquisition of Concur, the leading cloud-based provider of travel and entertainment management software.

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Modi’s Attempts at Reforming the Obdurate Indian Bureaucracy

November 20, 2014

Indian bureaucracy is infamous, to put it mildly. Ask anyone who has requested a service from the government and they will tell you how long it takes, if the request is processed at all. Local businessmen are full of stories of approvals that didn’t arrive, even after paying bribes.

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Mobility now a ‘must’

November 19, 2014
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Mobility is becoming ubiquitous and that has major
implications not just for device makers and mobile operators, but for the
relationship between all companies and their customers, employees and partners.

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Between the cloud and a hard place

November 7, 2014
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The cloud computing infrastructure (aka data center) business is a tough place to be these days – and it just became a whole lot tougher.
This week Google doubled down on its efforts to grab a bigger share of the cloud computing infrastructure pie by slashing its IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) pricing for the second […]

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Smartphones – The Chinese Are Coming

November 3, 2014

The smartphone story is changing. Global smartphone shipments topped 300m handsets for the second consecutive quarter in the 2014 third quarter, according to market research firm IDC.
Smartphone makers shipped a total of 327.6 m handsets between July and September, representing a healthy 25 percent increase over last year’s September quarter. But growth is no longer […]

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Not Your Parent’s Corporate News

October 28, 2014
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The revolution is underway. The days of stale, boring corporate news are over. Or so SAP hopes.
Head honcho of Global Corporate Affairs (GCA), Torie Clarke, is looking to speak to SAP’s many audiences in a new way. That’s why she signed up three top media professionals from print and TV.
The goal is simple: create disruptive […]

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