It’s Time to Prepare for Open Health

By Frederic Martineau, CTO of act digital

The potential of collaborative work arrives with force in the universe of health management with the possible advent of open health — a unified platform with integrated health information. Clinical histories, test results, physiological characteristics at a click of patients and health professionals. Amid legal, regulatory, marketing, and ethical discussions, it is apparently undeniable that this movement tends to gain relevance given the possibilities of optimizing time and resources in health administration, as well as improving the experience of doctors and patients in saving lives and wellness maintenance. Given this, how can you anticipate this trend and prepare your health structure for open health?

Proposed in allusion to open banking, health ecosystems are more fragmented than those of the banking system, implying additional challenges for their implementation. Not rarely, the same clinic or hospital has different systems that are incompatible with each other, due to different suppliers, technologies used, tools, and specific operating standards. At the same time, it also demands standardization in filling out forms, organizing data and making information available, whether simple, in image, video, or other formats, according to the representative drawing (Fig. 1):


Fig. 1. - Representation of systems without interconnection

This data optimization tends to reduce the time used to measure characteristics and biological markers, facilitate monitoring of health conditions (improving the patient and physician journey), save lives, reduce complexity care expenses, and even, in a second moment, employ data medicine algorithms to predict the need for preventive examinations and consultations — such as, for example, to observe the evolution of comorbidities or the identification of neoplasms.

Faced with the need to invest resources, time and, sometimes, adjustments in the organizational culture linked to the management of health data, the creation of small models of collection, storage, security, traffic, and access to information would be recommended. This strategy tends to enable greater speed in the development of solutions, usability assessments, measurement of results with health teams, and system scalability assessments for other centers or departments. But we still have some challenges to overcome:

Health data are decentralized, spread across different systems, whether public or private.

Because of this, there is a lack of standardization of these data for interoperability.

Ensuring the security of patient information, in traffic and data storage.

The LGPD (General Data Protection Law), according to which health data is considered extremely sensitive and is protected by other rules, such as the rule of confidentiality between patient and health professional.

Such a transformation in the logic of using health information requires careful regulation and legal review, especially with regard to access and portability of data to guarantee people’s privacy and determine the possibilities of using this asset aimed at maintaining health.

At act digital, we have an initiative that aims to solve the challenges mentioned in one of our clients in the healthcare sector. Through an innovative approach, using Design Thinking, Agile, and Lean Inception, we align a shared business vision and make a highly scalable solution tangible through the use of technologies such as microservices, Big Data, associated with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Together with cloud computing, we solve information availability and security problems, reducing operating costs.

In this way, several data sources are stored in a single place (Datalake), where data scientists/engineers will work on the raw data to generate unified and valued information for future uses. These processes are automated according to the creation of artificial intelligence, allowing this information to be consumed in various health sectors.

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