IBM: Smarter Healthcare through Smart Flow of Information

DQI Bureau
New Update

India has made significant strides in healthcare since 1947. Life expectancy has doubled and infant mortality and crude death rates have greatly reduced. Nevertheless, Indias healthcare system faces considerable challenges, including quality of care, rising costs, and insufficient access for many citizens.


Theres no better time to invest in creating the kind of society we all desire. Virtual communities of people, clinicians, researchers, insurers and support groups collaborate across organizational and technology boundaries to promote healthy lifestyles, deliver care, manage chronic disease, evaluate and select care providers, and provide support for the acutely ill and their families.

In the future, successful care delivery organizations will be differentiated by their ability to manage, integrate, analyze and leverage clinical, financial and biomedical information across the organization and ultimately the healthcare ecosystem. The innovators are tearing down silos so they can connect doctors, patients and insurers to share information seamlessly and securely.


The smarter approach to healthcare is one that uses information to create real insight into patient care and organizational performance.

A smarter healthcare system starts with better connections, better data, and faster and more detailed analysis. It means integrating our data and centering it on the patient, so each person owns his or her information and has access to a networked team of collaborative care.

Smarter Healthcare is Instrumented: The purpose being our health systems can automatically capture accurate, real-time information. Implanet, a French orthopedics manufacturer, is using RFID technology to track surgical implants from manufacturer until they are inside the patient.


Smarter Healthcare is Interconnected: Doctors, patients, and insurers can all share information seamlessly and efficiently by being interconnected.

Smarter Healthcare is Intelligent: This implies applying advanced analytics to improve research, diagnosis, and treatment. Geisinger Health Systems is integrating clinical, financial, operational, claims, genomic and other information into an integrated environment of medical intelligence that helps doctors deliver more personalized care. This enables them to make smarter decisions and deliver higher quality care, all because they can easily turn information into actionable knowledge.


We might have a true healthcare systemif we bring back the focus to where it belongsthat is on the patient. First organizations need to optimize best healthcare practices. Addressing this begins with cost efficiencies gained from streamlining clinical processes and evidence based guidelines, with strong correlation to improving clinical outcomes.

Secondly, delivering excellent individualized health and care experiences that can help to bridge significant gaps between the health related services that individuals expect and what they receive from physicians and insurers.

Thirdly, assuming that we all want a value based health system, the goal should be to appropriately balance resources in keeping people healthy and treating sickness.


In creating new healthcare service models and markets, healthcare organizations will have to focus more on personalized prevention, prediction, early detection, and treatment. Care coordination including case management or chronic disease management combined with secondary prevention is another opportunity.

Both individually and collectively, stakeholders have the unique opportunity to harness the changing environment and create more value focused healthcare. Not only would this help drive efficiency, reduce the risk of medical errors, save money and lives, but it would also ensure that the country maintains an excellent public healthcare system.

Jeby Cherian

The author is director, strategy,

IBM India/South Asia