For anyone interested in improving health care through technology, data is a big deal. Good information is the difference.
Technology adds an unusual approach to improving the health care experience. Data analysts and engineers need to account for all the nuances between patient and doctor. Capturing those nuances and transforming it to usable data is a feat. Physicians, nurses, medical assistants, as well as the staff that answer the phone, must want to improve communication. Patient services will improve with dedication and education over time. There is a learning curve to overcome, to where the two sides meet creating better information for the technology we are building today.
To some, data is something apart from the project. Yes, we know it's essential, but there are analysts and geeks for that, right?
Now, as a health communicator, I feel a responsibility to know at least a baseline for all the pieces involved. I need to understand to explain and clear confusion. Data is the element that gives meaning to health care. Designers, creators, and others are busy making the next best thing, but we all need to understand that the next best thing won't happen without careful analysis of information, data sources, and how it applies to relations between health professional and patient.
Finding data, working with data, analyzing, anonymizing data, might be above and beyond what you personally think you need to know in your health startup. That’s fine. There are data-minded people who like it. Yet consider this; without a basic understanding at this transitional period in health care, the next best thing will belong to someone else.