Muqbil Ahmar

Technology Evangelist, avid blogger and enthusiast, and basically a storyteller at heart. With more than 10 years of experience in journalism, I have enjoyed my stints with other media like TV, magazines, and Web. When not surrounded by startup and tech stories, I like to dig for inspirational ones. I write on Cloud, Big Data, IoT, startups, SMEs, Enterprises, Technology, ERP, CRM, and everything under the sun—viewed from the prism of new era tech.

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World Hepatitis Day: Emerging Technologies Help Identify High-Risk Groups and Disease Management

Combining predictive analytics as well as care coordination could help healthcare providers ensure higher levels of disease management and medication intervals for patients.

Researchers from University of Michigan have developed a Big Data algorithm for hepatitis treatment and management. The tool uses primary Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) data. The EHR is basically an electronically-stored and systematized collection of patient health information in digital format. The data helps flag patients at high risk of developing complications from hepatitis. Treatment costs can be exorbitant due to expensive treatments like Sovaldi. Predictive Clinical Analytics is helping in controlling expenditure. The data study has been published by journal Hepatology.

Hepatitis kills 1.34 million people every year

Hepatitis is one of the leading causes of casualties worldwide; it accounts for about 1.34 million deaths every year. This is equal to deaths by AIDS, malaria, or tuberculosis. Hepatitis B and C cause 80% of liver cancer cases worldwide. Hepatitis is not restricted to location or people. The epidemic is global—affecting millions who don’t even realize they are infected. In fact, my father suffered from hepatitis, which was discovered late. Currently, around 90% people infected with hepatitis B and 80% with hepatitis C are not aware of the infection, often leading to disease going unnoticed and resulting in fatal liver ailments. In a number of cases, they end up transmitting the disease to other people.

Though vaccines are available, efficacy is limited. Elimination of hepatitis is achievable through greater understanding and awareness of the ailment and reducing concomitant risks since treatment is expensive. According to the World Health Organization, in India, 4% of the total population carries the disease, translating into 36 million carriers. HBV is responsible for 70% chronic hepatitis cases and 80% liver cirrhosis cases.

Big Data and Predictive Analytics helping management of hepatitis

The team of researchers used machine learning techniques to treat clinical information, including lab results, body mass index, details of virus type, and age, thus creating risk score for patients. This score has been more reliable than previous attempts at prognosis because the algorithm uses a bigger number of values than other models. It also analyzes the way values change over a period of time.

“There is a definite boom in predictive analytics tool and techniques due to explosion and improvement in data collection methodologies as well as analysis. Many advances in technology as well as analytics can help transform hypothesis-driven treatment and management to a data-driven approach. This certainly opens new avenues for investigation of unexplored information,” says Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global cloud technology leader which has also developed a Big Data tool.

The risk score can give healthcare providers rare insights since it can be integrated with EHR systems. Flagged patients could be administered treatment according to the likeliness of their developing complications arising out of hepatitis. It can combat onset of disease and prevent it. Big Data tool can aid practitioners as well as companies develop disease management plans through detecting intervals for primary care visits together with follow-ups, which can be significant for hepatitis patients. All the data and information, if processed and analyzed, can help gather unexplored medical knowledge for treatment and management.

Frontiers of technology open up vital tools for fighting disease

Combining predictive analytics as well as care coordination could help healthcare providers ensure higher levels of disease management and medication intervals for patients. Healthcare systems could reduce waste and provide a wider range of treatment options to people having greater probability of developing life-threatening complications. Clinical predictive analytics is helping in identifying optimum course of treatment, particularly for hepatitis patients. This World Hepatitis Day, it is heartening to know that that technology is helping humanity capture new frontiers in the fight against deadly diseases.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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World Hepatitis Day technologies Disease Management

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