Data Integration in the Healthcare Industry: How iPaaS is Revolutionizing the Healthcare Sector
With the growing rate of global digitalization across all sectors of income, data acquisition, maintenance and management are now of utmost importance. The world economy sectors are flooding with digital data and the need to keep them all streamlined together is necessary. The accurate communication and transfer of data from and with external systems, which is extremely important to companies, requires seamless application integration. However, the stakes are higher in the Healthcare industry.
With the rise of collective data that is being generated by the public in the healthcare industry, maintaining the data is posing to be a huge challenge. The amount of total data in the healthcare industry that is still waiting to be analyzed is enormous. Let’s have a look at what data integration looks like in the Healthcare sector.
Data Integration in the Healthcare Sector
Data integration refers to the process of connecting various data/data points from different sources into one unified set. During this process, data is cleansed, communicated with and transformed between two or more applications to ensure precise analysis.
Healthcare data, until now, is unstructured and is often difficult to extract – medical data may go back years. This hints at a considerable threat to the industry and the need to employ data integration in the healthcare industry seems the best option. Analyzing this data proves to be lucrative – this can identify effective preventive strategies in the healthcare industry, eliminate inadequate care and even expose fraud.
With the rise in the level of security, the introduction of new financial and medical policies, time constraints and increased attention for data management only, it has become crucial to pay heed towards the data integration and application harmony. Therefore, it goes without saying that the implementation of the integration of the platform and services that are utilized by the hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare centers should be such that protection of a patient’s information can be ensured. This integration also ensures that when needed, significant use of the data can be made from the gigantic information that is present in the system.
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a platform where cloud-based solutions are connected with one another to talk within themselves and provide integration solutions that help in data processing, transfer, management, and various such other issues. An iPaaS helps in the real-time integration of various applications of a business to get hold of required records efficiently.
By 2021, it is expected that iPaaS will take up the highest segment of application integration middleware because organizations these days look for potent and convenient ways to integrate data.
The State of Healthcare Data Integration – 2020-21 Top predictions
With 2020, we step into the new decade of business expansion and data surge. With this, comes the major adoption of consumerism. The healthcare industry would gain a retail-like experience and this would mainly be drawn by the patients. Aiming at recalibrating the healthcare strategies and planning for the upcoming decade, consumer-driven care delivery such as telehealth services, e-pharmacy, retail care, D2C tests, care-on-point, etc. will gain high market attention and adoption. New digital technologies, the introduction of electronic medical records, increase in resource-taxing applications – all add up to the combined strain on the existing healthcare infrastructure. On top of this, mobile adoption and the extensive use of tele-medication technologies will increase data generation across the industry.
“Today, more than 5 billion consumers interact with data every day — by 2025, that number will be 6 billion, or 75% of the world’s population. In 2025, each connected person will have at least one data interaction every 18 seconds. Many of these interactions are because of the billions of IoT devices connected across the globe, which are expected to create over 90 ZB of data in 2025.”
—The Digitization of the World
It is estimated that the healthcare industry will be one of the fastest adopters of iPaaS solutions. Pharmaceutical organizations are keen to implement iPaaS for increased efficiency of manufacturing applications and integrating production data with sales registries.
According to Fog Computing World :
By the end of 2022, the global market for the Integration Platform as a Service is estimated to reach US$ 1.2 valuation. The study anticipates that during the five-year forecast period, 2017-2022, the global iPaaS market will have soared robustly at a CAGR of 11.9%. The report also projects that North America will be the largest market for iPaaS in the immediate future.
Why Is Data Integration so Crucial?
The healthcare industry is teaming with professionals who are forced to work under pressure and deliver quality service every time! Added to this is the fact that the healthcare employees are burdened with time-taking administrative tasks and applications that hinder in maintaining the healthcare facilities on priority.
With a humongous amount of data being generated by the wide consumer base, managing the data and keeping it highly accessible is the key to perpetual growth. Data is flooding infrastructures – According to the Economic Times, there are now close to 400,000 health apps that monitor a variety of health data – heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, calories intake, physical activity, blood glucose, cholesterol levels, etc.
New innovative medical advancements, the introduction of electronic medical records, data generation from mobile apps and the growing use of telemedicine technologies, online and door-to-door medical services, all are the prime contributors to the vast amount of data being generated and stored in the healthcare industry. While all this data needs to be managed safely, it also needs to be thoroughly analyzed so as to treat the patients and bring valuable insights to prevent future diseases.
In order to effectively manage its operations and carry out the daily medical responsibilities, the healthcare industry is forced to use multiple applications for a legion of services. Core legacy systems not only cause a delay in pulling and working with data but also make data complicated in its own nature – which increases with the increasing data. To cater to the growing demands of the online consumers and being all data accessible at one place, it is now important for the healthcare industry to successfully implement data integration which would consequently give them more time to attend to the patients rather than think about compliance and security of data.
Again, there is a factor that emphasizes on why data integration is so important – Healthcare applications don’t talk to each other! It is evident that the healthcare industry is employing various innovative solutions every day to cater to customers. Oftentimes, the new applications and solutions being used in the industry do not communicate with each other and nor with the legacy systems that are being used. Due to this, the data is broken in the back-end and so is the customer experience. The ROI of the organization comes into the question too because of this – it decreases over time!
Without a single, unified solution that securely integrates all the disparate data and brings all information under the same roof, the ability to automate business processes and efficiently leverage the power of big data diminishes significantly. This is where an iPaaS solution caters to help the healthcare industry. With its ability to connect applications, information, data and technologies, an integration platform offers a central hub of information keeping and accessing that brings out the full power of any organization in automating their critical processes.
Healthcare is set to be one of the key industries that will show a surging growth in terms of the adoption of iPaaS solutions. Pharmaceutical companies and medical organizations are more probable to implement iPaaS solutions for improving the efficiency of manufacturing applications and integrating production data with sales registries.
Data Integration Challenges in the Healthcare Sector
It is needless to say that the healthcare industry faces a lot of challenges in its quest for data integration and management. Below are some of the major challenges that the healthcare industry is facing on its way to data integration:
1. Medical errors: Medical errors are one of the major mishaps that take place in the healthcare sector. Due to the presence of vast information in the system, many times the wrong information is put into the system as well as displayed at the time of need. This leads to accidents that could have been easily avoided. A report suggests that there are around 43 million avoidable injuries every year.
2. Presence of vast information: A healthcare system stores extensive data into this system. This goes on to the extent that the information in the system keeps on increasing every year. If the information is not integrated properly, it sometimes becomes very difficult to consolidate data which can cause major issues like loss of information.
3. Cybersecurity: It can be said without a shadow of a doubt that not only is the information saved within the database of a healthcare unit of extreme importance but at the same time it’s highly confidential. This very confidentiality tends to attract many hackers towards this system which has led to the healthcare breach data statistics to be on a constant high every year.
4. Investment towards IT development costs in healthcare: Due to different information being out in different systems 24/7, in order to maintain the system, the cost of developing such a platform becomes very high.
5. Payment processing and invoicing: With payments getting processed every minute, it becomes problematic to sync so many payments and constantly connect them with the patient profile in case there are multiple payments.
6. Compatibility: Be it any platform, it is essential that it gels in well with the software that is already existing. With so many complex strings already existing in the healthcare sector, it more than often becomes a challenge to integrate the cloud service provider with the existing software which leads to glitches in the system.
7. End-user services: With the presence of vast information in the system, many times, the customer doesn’t receive information on time which leads to delay in services. Lack of proper end-user services can become a huge problem especially in a sector like healthcare.
8. Data Validation: Many times, the information that is put into the system manually or even through an automatic system can be faulty which can cause huge problems. This can cause a major issue in terms of finding the fault since it is humanly impossible to find a fault in the presence of such a huge pile of information.
9. Data Privacy and Sharing: One of the major obstacles to successful data integration within the healthcare industry is the misconception surrounding the updated data privacy and sharing policies. Some organizations have negligible knowledge regarding the confidentiality and privacy of the patient’s information. It is obvious that data must be protected from illegal access but also be readily available to be shared with specific individuals.
With the era of digital transformation unfolding and changing how the healthcare industry works, the requirements in this sector in terms of integration have also changed.
Benefits of Data Integration in Healthcare
We now know how burdened the healthcare industry is with the growing amount of digital data every second. For the smooth functioning of the entire industry and organizations alike, these healthcare units need to mobilize their data, communicate with them frequently, analyze them and keep them accessible for a long time. This is what an integration platform aims to cater. The following are the benefits of using data integration within the healthcare industry.
1. Adaptability: With a flexible structure of data management, customers easily adapt to this to the various systems even when constant changes take place in the business requirements.
2. Cost-Effectiveness: Data integration platforms are not too expensive and can be availed within the organization’s resources.
3. User- Friendliness: Predefined integration processes that connect systems seamlessly are critical constituents of an iPaaS platform. These help integrate platforms easily and efficiently.
4. Improved Decision Making and Rule Implementation: With the help of a robust integration platform, organizations can easily define and implement business rules in order to sequentialize the uninterrupted flow of data
5. Real-time Integration: An iPaaS consolidates and processes data in real-time, thus ensuring transparency of data in a timely manner.
Overcoming Healthcare Challenges with iPaaS
Here are a few reasons as to how iPaaS is revolutionizing the healthcare sector and streamlining data integration:
1. Reduction in errors: With iPaaS one does not have to constantly keep entering data in every system. You simply enter data once and keep updating it whenever needed. This, in turn, ensures that there are next to no mistakes when information is put into the system. Also, one does not have to constantly look for information from various software since iPaaS compiles all the information in one place. This helps one to look for the necessary information easily and readily extract information whenever needed.
2. Presence of all information at a single platform: As mentioned before, the amount of information that is entered into a system is huge in the healthcare industry and managing such information is of extreme importance. iPaaS ensures that all the information that is entered into various systems gets synchronized automatically using an automated template which helps one to easily manage such data.
3. High level of security: The information that is present on iPaaS can only be accessed by those who have access to this cloud platform. This ensures that such information does not fall into the wrong hands. Also, the level of security in iPaaS consists of various layers which ensures that there is no leakage of data outside the platform.
4. IT Development Costs: The cost of integrating the various software programs with iPaaS is comparatively very low. You can simply make a monthly or yearly subscription. At the same time, the number of personnel required to manage this platform is also very low and this platform is also very time efficient. Therefore, investing in this platform would fit in well within your budget.
5. Payment processing and invoicing: As soon as the information regarding a patient, it keeps a record regarding all the activities that take place about the said patient. Therefore, when payment processing takes place, even multiple times, iPaaS records the same under the patients’ names so that all the information stays in one place, thereby, avoiding any confusion.
6. Compatibility: iPaaS allows you to easily integrate all your different platforms without any hassle. Therefore, one simply does not need to worry about iPaaS being compatible with your existing features.
7. End-user service: With iPaaS ensuring that all the data gets synchronized, it also ensures better customer service. How? iPaaS also integrates the customer care software with the entire system which ensures that whatever complaints or feedback the management has can easily reach the management and they can answer the same easily.
8. Validation of data: iPaaS has a feature in which let’s say, you enter an incorrect piece of information, it automatically checks in with the existing information regarding the particular case and informs the person about the mistake that has been made thereby, keeping errors as minimum as possible.
9. Artificial Intelligence: In recent times, iPaaS in terms of healthcare has developed a new feature. Whenever you enter the problems faced by a patient, it automatically studies the various cases existing in the system and lists the symptoms of the problems as well as the solutions for the same.
iPaaS is considered to be the latest of cloud computing platforms which will soon revolutionize the healthcare industry with the features that have been introduced by it. Calling it a game-changer for this industry would be accurately describing its effect in terms of the features that it will offer, its competence and its user efficiency.
An integration platform like APPSeCONNECT addresses these challenges. APPSeCONNECT is a smart and robust Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) solution that seamlessly integrates data, information and technologies across the industry and communicates with the various systems used by organizations. With APPSeCONNECT, organizations witness rapid growth in their data integration process as it bridges the gap between various applications, communicates and transfers data and brings them under the same roof.
APPSeCONNECT data integration for the healthcare industry is based on hands-on working experience with hundreds of healthcare organizations. By providing tools and technologies that connect various cloud data sources, on-premise/legacy systems and hybrid solutions, APPSeCONNECT accelerates the digital transformation process in the healthcare industry and caters to the growing need for innovation and data management in the market.
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