Shifting the Healthcare Ecosystem – The Power of Data and the Roadblocks to Change

The Power of Data in the Healthcare Ecosystem

Advances in technology and data are shifting the tides of nearly every industry today. Data that is vital to business success, improved patient care, and pharmaceutical advancement is within fingertip reach. We have only experienced the very tip of the iceberg of the power of data in the healthcare ecosystem.

Despite the benefits of game-changers like cloud technology and a spectrum of headache-reducing SAAS applications, the health ecosystem has been adopting new technology at a much slower pace than most industries due to obvious concerns about cybersecurity, compliance regulations, and, of course, the always-important weight of cost-to-outcome ratio. High-stake matters indeed.

However, for every roadblock that exists, one can be assured that there are groups of avid disruptors working to blast it out of the way. Changes are happening! This couldn’t be more apparent after attending the recent event, “Healthcare’s Innovation Tipping Point”, in Denver, CO.

In the words of Mike Biselli,

“Innovation will flourish whether we like it or not.”

Biselli is the President of Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation (HTI), a unique industry integrator set to open in Denver during Q2 2018.

He spoke on the momentum that community effort brings to solving lofty problems and advancing whole industries. To name just a few, the Catalyst HTI community has the likes of Kaiser Permanente, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, MGMA, Hitachi Consulting, and American Diabetes Association on board, ready to work alongside bright health-tech start-ups and incubators. This multi-faceted community effort may just have the power to surpass the tipping point of healthcare change.

Reaching the Threshold for Change

For change to occur in any situation, there needs to be a pain point that is so great that change needs to occur. During his talk at Healthcare’s Innovation Tipping Point, Shawn Davison, CEO of DVmobile, pointed out that the cybersecurity risk is now higher than ever and this increased risk has made it less safe for businesses and more difficult to manage security in-house.

This may be a highly motivating reason for companies from all walks of the healthcare industry to place hefty consideration into transitioning to HIPAA-compliant cloud computing and privacy monitoring. It is becoming safer to allow these advanced data security companies to manage privacy.

The Expanding Datasphere

Another growing concern brought up by Davison that the healthcare world should be thinking about, is the confluence of new data being recorded and stored every day. His presentation revealed that the datasphere is expected to expand to about 44 trillion GB in the next 5 years and that the average oncology patient produces 1TB of data per day alone. The in-house storage, management, and protection of such large quantities of data is costly.

To Be or Not to Be In-House?

Something else to consider: In-house servers require downtime for manual updates and have increased risk of error and side-effects due to restarts. Davison explained that a very practical benefit of modern cloud computing is its ability to always stay “on.” According to RJ Health’s Director of Information Services, Teja, the consideration of all aspects of HIPAA-Compliance, including on-boarding, maintenance of LOGS, software and hardware changes, etc., makes the in-house management of security really complex. “It can get crazy, so when cloud computing providers have [these] environments set up…, it makes it easier to communicate within the environment and have a sense of security that you may not have if you were told to manage this all yourself,” says Teja. He explained that, in the past, to manage HIPAA-Compliant network security, a team needed to have a network person, an IT security person, and a maintenance person. Now, with the new cybersecurity-compliant, cloud-based infrastructures available, one person can check on things from a dashboard when needed and be confident that the team is ready for a HIPAA audit at any moment.

Data-Sharing and Advances in Academia and Medical Treatment

Another speaker at the event was Matt Ferrari, the CTO of ClearDATA. He delivered an interesting thought on the collective benefit of advancing the healthcare ecosystem further into the realm of cloud technology – improving academia and disease treatment collaboration. He discussed the need for sharing data for genomic research across academia while protecting patient information.

Ferarri also mentioned the work of Roche Diagnostic’s NAVIFY Tumor Board, which is a platform for oncology care teams to securely contribute data and work together to find collaborative outcomes for patient treatment. It is HIPAA compliant and “hosted on ISO27001 and HITRUST certified infrastructure” (Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., 2017). A solution like this drastically increases the speed in which these oncology teams can share information and discuss findings. Imagine the improvements to patient care and research over time with more solutions like this throughout the healthcare industry.

Containing Data Sprawl

Another current pain point of the healthcare industry that Ferrari brought to light was the incredible amount of data sprawl of private health information – a patient’s pharma data is in one place while their imaging is in another. This information is seldom shared among the different branches of medical specialties. Cloud storage can draw this information from its various locations and put it into one place.

RJ Health and the Shift of the Healthcare Ecosystem

As a data and analytics company, RJ Health’s IT team works hard to ensure compliance is met. RJ utilizes Amazon Web Services to ensure HIPAA-Compliant instances. Grateful for today’s advances in security technologies and cloud-based infrastructures, RJ Health can attest the power of proper amalgamation and integration of data. RJ’s mission is to provide transparency through industry standard specialty drug data that supports Payor / Provider alignment on Medical benefit drug reimbursement policy, claims analysis, care management and network management decisions. RJ is able to provide this data in a customizable format that its clients can integrate into operational systems for strategic enterprise initiatives. RJ Health’s collected analytics on unit cost (fees/costs/pricing) and clinical utilization make the forecasting and managing of upward drug spend trends possible.

While the road to a total technology shift for the healthcare industry is still long and bumpy, the incredible benefits of healthcare tech are rapidly bubbling to the surface and making themselves known. The discussions at Healthcare’s Innovation Tipping Point offer an optimistic evidence of what’s already been accomplished and what can be expected on the path ahead. RJ Health is proud to be a part of this shift in its own way by offering data solutions that provide greater control of medical drug spend. It is an exciting time to observe the positive changes rising in the healthcare landscape and the power of data in the healthcare ecosystem.




Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. / Diagnostics Information Systems. (2017). Security. Retrieved from

DVmobile –

ClearDATA –

Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation –