The Data Doctor is In: Why the Fundamentals of Data Science Matter for Healthcare

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Learning about data science can help you do your work in the healthcare sector more effectively

Healthcare is a vital sector, both in terms of employment and key services. In the UK, the NHS employs more than 1.5 million people, and many more work in adjacent healthcare organisations. In the US, meanwhile, the healthcare sector employs roughly 1 in every 11 workers, while other countries around the world also have large healthcare industries.

In a sector of this size, one thing is certain – there is plenty of data used and produced, and data science can help make this process more effective. Healthcare professionals and decision-makers are beginning to take advantage of the benefits of data science, and acquiring knowledge of the fundamentals of data science is a great way for those in the industry to stand out from the crowd to employers, or to run their organisations with more success.

Keep reading to learn more about the many applications of data science in the healthcare sector.  

Data Science Fundamentals Can Help Reduce the Risk of Healthcare Errors

When it comes to healthcare, the smallest of errors can have dire consequences. Whether it’s a prescription error, a misdiagnosis, or a miscommunication between patient and practitioner, the costs of healthcare mistakes can be heavy on a patient’s health and can increase strain on the healthcare system.

Increased knowledge of the fundamentals of data science can help to reduce the human error involved with medical care, improving patient health and trust in healthcare institutions. For instance, the new American data science-powered company MedAware has been shown to reduce prescription errors by flagging unusual or seemingly disproportionate prescriptions, giving doctors the chance to double-check their recommendations and catch errors.

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Medical professionals can leverage data science to reduce errors and improve patient outcomes

Medical Research Can Thrive with the Influence of Data Science

Leveraging the insights of data science can be of great benefit to researchers working on developing new pharmaceutical and medical insights, as it makes it possible to analyse vast amounts of data that would otherwise be too difficult to organise and process.

One exciting example of data science merging with healthcare research is Project Data Sphere, a data sharing platform that allows researchers to share and learn from the data of different clinical cancer trials. This exciting project is said to have the potential to contribute to more efficient research development, altruism in the industry, and better treatment options.

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Data science is taking on an increasingly important role in medical research

Apply Predictive Analytics to Healthcare After Attending an Online Data Science Academy

As students with the online data science academy at Southampton learn, data science can provide immense predictive insights when leveraged correctly. These insights can significantly improve diagnostic accuracy and even prevent impending ailments early.

Wearable technologies present a potentially useful data source for medical professionals, capturing information about patients’ habits and basic biological statistics that could be beneficial to identifying medical problems. On a larger scale, machine learning algorithms like that employed by Entilic have shown the ability to provide more accurate and quick diagnoses to aid physicians by leveraging vast banks of clinical and patient data.

Data science can also be very beneficial on a larger scale than that of individual clients and patients. According to respected online healthcare publication NEJM Catalyst, the predictive analytics enabled by data science could also be useful to identify larger trends in population health. These trends can in turn make it easier for key decision and policy makers to understand factors that contribute to or detract from public health, and work toward healthcare systems that are better equipped to meet the changing needs of the population.   

Are you ready to bring healthcare into the data-driven age?

Contact the Southampton Data Science Academy to get started with a data science fundamentals course.

Topics: fundamentals of data science, online data science academy, data science fundamentals course

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