Predicting Medical Issues By Analyzing Spending Habits

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Video Discription: Healthcare providers in North and South Carolina are reportedly using consumer information to predict possible medical issues for their patients at hospitals, nursing homes, and care centers. The purchase history data, like if a person has an open gym membership or how often they buy cigarettes, is put through an algorithm to calculate a person’s potential healthcare needs based on their risk score.

Certain healthcare providers in North and South Carolina will reportedly be able to use consumer information to predict possible medical issues for their patients at hospitals, nursing homes, and care centers.

Carolinas Healthcare System is developing predictive algorithm’s that take the patient’s purchase history data, like a gym membership or how often they buy cigarettes, to generate a risk score and calculate their potential healthcare needs.

Michael Dulin, chief clinical officer for analytics and outcomes research at Carolinas HealthCare is quoted as saying: "The data is already used to market to people to get them to do things that might not always be in the best interest of the consumer. We are looking to apply this for something good.”

Within the next two years, they hope to provide the risk score to doctors and nurses so that the information can contribute to a full health assessment.

Hospitals hope to use the information to help prevent expensive emergency room visits by recommending regular checkups for people with high health risk factors.

Currently specific consumer data cannot be provided to doctors, but in the future, Carolinas HealthCare hopes to renegotiate with the unidentified data provider to allow doctors access to a patient’s personal spending history.

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