We hear a great deal in today’s world about data, so-called “big data”, and the revolution that healthcare data might represent for patients worldwide. It’s true that data and the analysis of that data could provide us with the next great medical leap forwards. How to get into a role that might help combine data with healthcare skills is less clear, though. So this article’s all about setting you up with an idea of how you can use your existing healthcare skills alongside data skills to help bring about the next healthcare revolution.
It’s in healthcare databases that patient data from across territories and even continents is stored. Access to these databases is restricted to those who might be able to draw new insights from the data. As such, if you’re keen to get your hands on healthcare data in a research capacity, the best way to do so is through the field of academia. You needn’t be a professor or a senior academic to access this data – even a junior research assistant can help in the data processing and analytics process, combining whatever knowledge they have of data and medical care in order to draw out valuable new insights and patterns.
On a slightly smaller scale, hospitals are also constantly producing data. Their data revolves around stock and beds, and the types of illness that the staff are currently treating. This data is important for the long-term and future planning of hospitals, giving administrators an idea of where they should shift resources and personnel. If this sounds like an exciting way to look at data for the benefit of healthcare, try a masters in Nursing Administration in order to train yourself up in important skills for the role.
More and more health insights are being derived from wearable devices – even those that don’t purport to be of a medical-grade standard. From heart rate to blood glucose level, these devices are constantly monitoring your health and reporting the data they read to a weekly or monthly report. Some industry experts expect wearables to have a huge impact on how we diagnose and spot symptoms of illnesses early. So if you’re excited to contribute at another cutting edge of medical research, working in a wearable device firm could be the right path for you.
On both a state and a federal level, policies are put in place to help hospitals but also to help citizens avoid a need to visit the hospital in the first place. These policies have wide-ranging impacts and, even if they’re designed to help civilian populations, can sometimes misread data, or be short on data, to make the most accurate decisions and recommendations. This is why data analysts with experience in healthcare are desperately needed in policymaking and advising – something that you may find interesting as a career path too.
There you have it: top career examples that combine the intriguing world of data with the fast-paced and critical world of healthcare.