The growing importance of data-driven decisions in healthcare

Data-driven healthcare and cybersecurity conference 25 April 2024, Budapest

For the 22nd time, the Hungarian Healthcare Management Association (HMA) is organizing the Data-Driven Health and Cybersecurity Conference. This year’s summit will focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and the challenges healthcare faces in IT and cybersecurity.

One of the main objectives of this year’s Data-Driven Health and Cybersecurity conference is to ensure that as wide a range of people as possible are aware of and support the paradigm shift from traditional medicine to data-driven healthcare within and outside the sector.

Artificial Intelligence

Over the past decades, artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed almost all industries, including medicine, patient care, and healthcare development. With the help of AI-based systems, it is easier and faster to identify diseases, whether by analyzing diagnostic imaging tests or predicting disease risk. Individual patient data can help physicians enormously in developing personalized treatment plans, as AI can easily and quickly systematize clinical findings, evidence, and genetic endowments. AI can analyze vast amounts of health data, enabling professionals to make global predictions for the whole world, for example, on the spread of epidemics. But AI is already in the operating theatre, with computer-planned surgeries and robotic surgery. AI has also made it possible to care for patients who are geographically distant, and the combination of smart devices and AI allows monitoring of a patient’s condition at home, which helps to care for elderly or chronically ill patients and to intervene promptly. Overall, AI is helping to improve the efficiency of healthcare systems, supporting hospital operations and access to information essential for patient care.

Dr. Tamás Joó, Vice President of the Hungarian Healthcare Management Association and a Hungarian expert on data-driven healthcare, said, “We want to show that the integration of artificial intelligence in healthcare can be of great help to doctors in patient care, whether on an individual level or for large masses. Many of the solutions we use today daily would have been unimaginable even a few years ago; algorithms can now solve complex expert tasks. We focus on how we can make data-driven decision support available to everyone in publicly funded care as quickly as possible. We are working on several such developments; for example, in diagnosing colorectal cancer – one of the most common types of cancer in the country – our algorithm can identify malignant lesions in histological samples to support the pathologist’s work. Similarly, in breast cancer screening, our software can identify suspicious lesions on mammograms that require further investigation. Since, as in other industries, in healthcare, the first misconception among the profession and patients is that AI will cause many people to lose their jobs, the pathologist, in my example, will not stay without work. Working with technology brings new challenges, and development is impossible without his knowledge and presence. In addition to artificial intelligence-based solutions that support treatment and diagnosis, we perform data processing and analysis, which is vital for national-level forecasts. Based on data-driven decision-making, we aim to make Hungarian patient care faster and more efficient. As a methodology center, we continuously monitor developments; our artificial intelligence radar can summarize solutions from the world’s healthcare sectors. Over 600 AI-based solutions have received medical device certification worldwide in the last five years. We are also launching a new course in healthcare data science this autumn, bringing together our education, talent management, and development in one institution.”

Hopes and fears

The use of AI in healthcare raises both hopes and fears. Patients often have negative views about using AI: many expect faster and more accurate analyses but also worry that we rely too much on machines. Many people endorse using health data for research purposes, but there are also frequent concerns about data management: patients prefer to avoid offering their data to a wide usage handle. The data protection framework and who our data goes to are paramount, as the exposure of health data is vast: thousands of health-related cyber-attacks are recorded worldwide every week, involving at least 200,000 patients’ data per incident.

But what is data-driven healthcare?

Our health, and indeed our lives, now depend to a large extent on our own and others’ health data and its processing and analysis. In data-driven healthcare, we rely on the data generated and analyzed in care. It helps healthcare professionals, doctors, and patients better understand their health conditions, disease details, and contexts to develop faster, more effective, personalized treatments. Data-driven healthcare will enable decision-makers and doctors to make more accurate diagnoses, predict health risks, and create targeted patient treatment plans. Data-driven healthcare involves the automated analysis of data and the use of algorithm-based technologies to help improve the efficiency of healthcare systems and allocate resources better.

Learn more and register!