Personal Health Devices and Telehealth Present Data Mastering Challenges

by | Apr 27, 2021 | Healthcare, Life Sciences

A healthcare phase shift – accelerated

The COVID-19 impact on the healthcare system has sped up existing trends. Whether you are a device vendor, a telehealth vendor, or a healthcare or life sciences organization impacted by these accelerated, they have only increased your need to address data mastering at the ecosystem level. You need access to mastered identity data to leverage the value of the data you collect from devices. 

Telehealth increases

In an April 2020 COVID-19 Consumer Survey, McKinsey & Company found 46 percent of consumers were using telehealth to replace cancelled healthcare visits versus 11 percent in 2019. This has likely increased as the pandemic drags on. But even before the pandemic, the use of telehealth was on the rise. From 2016 through 2019, the use of telehealth grew from 14 percent to 28 percent, according to the American Medical Association.  

Increased approval and adoption of remote devices

In a sweeping effort to reduce the need for hospital visits and to reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure the Food and Drug Administration relaxed its red tape to allow manufacturers of certain already FDA-cleared non-invasive, vital sign measuring devices to expand their use for remote patient monitoring. While these devices have been approved by regulatory bodies and many insurance companies for years, there is most definitely a “doubling down” of these care approaches in an attempt to reduce face-to-face contact. 

The trend to “de-silo” some aspects of care

Deloitte predicts that health care will evolve from a collection of disconnected components made up of health plans, hospital systems, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers to a health model with the consumer at the center and the focus on prevention instead of treatment.  

In a recent episode of Freakonomics, host Stephen Dubner asked former FDA commissioner Peggy Hamburg, “if she thought that the mechanisms developed and the alliances built in pursuit of a Covid-19 vaccine might prove beneficial for the treatment of other diseases.” She responded: 

“I absolutely do. […] Covid-19, I think, marks a hugely important moment in time when the scientific research community came together across disciplines and sectors and borders in order to collaborate. And I hope we won’t lose that spirit of collaboration, because I think it is absolutely essential. But it requires companies to work together in ways that historically they haven’t always been comfortable.” 

 Forward-thinking organizations need to prepare for the vast amount of incoming patient data from a variety of new sources and new partners and address the new and expanded problems this “ecosystem view” presents to appropriately mastering data. 

Challenges these trends add to the data mastering mix

Managing traditional and new healthcare data streams coupled with the trend of data cooperation between and amongst organizations adds challenges to providing a real-time “single source of truth” for identity and other data is challenging.  

Disparate, conflicting systems exist across an entire ecosystem, not just your organization

Organizations must master patient data sets coming from disparate, duplicate, and often conflicting systems and sources of information withing organizational silos, across organizations, and increasingly direct from consumers or the vendors that consumers entrusted their device data to. 

Patients in control

Individuals will demand to be in control of who gets to see what data, when, and why. There will be market demands for this as well as regulatory demands put in place by the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, which will likely be a model for other state and possibly federal regulations.  

Consent breaches have financial consequences

Granular levels of consumer consent for access to data and the “right to be forgotten” are central, challenging problems. They need to be handled by a data mastering solution in a complex, multi-organization infrastructure where errors can cause customer anger, reputation hits, and even substantial fines.  

These and many more detailed problems are arising, and you should work with a data mastering partner that has a broad marketing understanding and lives and breathes healthcare and life sciences. Planning extended master data management to account for this phase shift should start now. 

To learn more about how an extended Master Data Management solution like Coperor E-MDM by Gaine can help you plan for this phase shift and an intensified business and legal need for mastered data, we invite you to read about the Coperor platform and contact us. 


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