The role of data science in medicine

The role of data science in medicine

Bianca Visagie
25 November 2021

Over the last few years, data science has been driving improvements in the medical field. The healthcare industry has become one of the most prominent beneficiaries of data science. Because of data scientists, medical diagnostics are becoming more efficient and accessible, medical treatment more personalised, and medical research more data-driven. In today’s post, we’ll be discussing the role of data science in medicine, and what Integrove can do for you.

The role of data science in medicine

Traditionally, medical care and diagnostics relied solely on the discretion of doctors. However, with the recent advancements in data science, it is now possible to obtain accurate diagnoses. There are several fields in healthcare such as medical imaging, drug discovery, genetics, predictive diagnosis and several others that make use of data science.

Data science for medical imagery

Deep learning technologies in data science have revolutionised medical imagery. Previously, it was difficult to detect microscopic changes in X-Rays, MRIs and CT Scans. As a result, it’s now possible to detect such deformities. Image segmentation, image enhancement and deconstruction, edge detection and support vector machines are some of the image processing techniques made possible by data science.

Wearables

Thanks to advances in data science, we can now collect data directly from the human body. By using smart, wearable devices, data scientists can track things like heart rate, sleep patterns, blood sugar levels, and more. Additionally, machine learning algorithms can be used to detect and track more common conditions, like heart or respiratory diseases. Therefore, wearable devices can reduce the risk of preventable health problems and make medical care more precise.

Improving diagnostic accuracy

Both medical imagery and wearables aid in improving diagnostic accuracy. Over 12 million people are misdiagnosed every year in the USA. Deep learning algorithms that can read imaging and wearable data can help to lower the rate of misdiagnosis. Data science enables truly personalised medical care, which also aids diagnostic accuracy. The more data there is to work with, the more accurate the diagnosis will be.

The role of data science in medicine

Drug discovery

The pharmaceutical industry relies heavily on data to solve problems and improve drugs. However, testing and improving drugs can be time-consuming. With data science, pharmaceutical companies can now use the insights from patient information such as mutation profiles and patient metadata. This information helps the researchers to develop models and find statistical relationships between the attributes.

Similarly, companies can design drugs that address the key mutations in the genetic sequences. Data science algorithms can also help to simulate how the drugs will act in the human body, which eliminates the need for long laboratory experimentations.

Genetics

Data scientists are developing tools to understand how a patient’s genetics affect their response to specific treatments, with the goal of enabling physicians to provide patients with personalised treatment programs that are tailored to their specific biology. Furthermore, researchers use data science to analyze genetic sequences to find a correlation between the parameters contained within genes and different diseases.

As the above examples make clear, data science is causing a paradigm shift in medical research. Data scientists are driving innovation across the healthcare spectrum, including the creation of chatbots that can help patients find a doctor, productivity applications that can automate administrative tasks, and recommendation services that can identify patients who could benefit from a new clinical trial.

Integrove’s experience in data science

We know how important it is to find the right data scientist for your medical practice. Our experience includes partnering with a mental health facility, where we were able to accurately predict the best care pathway a patient should follow. Additionally, this resulted in the least amount of cost to the mental health facility and the highest probability of no re-admission. However, using historic patient demographic & medical data new patients were advised under the supervision of the medical doctor what would be the best treatment plan.

We are also experts in using machine learning and deep learning to establish a baseline, meaning what constitutes “normal” behaviour for a system, by monitoring relevant attributes or features. Let our data scientists can help you go forward.

Meet one of our data scientists

The role of data science in medicine

We build robust AI Solutions

Angela de Loureiro is a Lead Data Scientist at Integrove. Passionate about data and the insights we can gain from data, she is in the process of completing her master’s degree in Data Science.

Her skills and forté:   

  • Ethical use of data
  • Automating the process
  • Builds and applies models and algorithms to mine data
  • Using past and present data to tell you about tomorrow
  • Turns data into knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it

Over the last 8 years, Angela has relentlessly pursued a career working towards inspiring the next generation of data-savvy individuals, who share my own passion where we use data to tell authentic stories that bring about real change.

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