Hani N Mufti
In this current era of massive datasets, and with the economic environment in its current state, funding and resources are getting scarcer. With this in mind, health care professionals should direct their focus to not only improving but also optimizing the quality of delivered care. With a shift in medicine’s objectives, away from overall tallies of patients and procedures and towards patient satisfaction, quality of care and financial bottom lines, there is ever-greater pressure to find ways to maximize care in efficient ways by extracting useful information from the mountains of data being produced. Such approaches to extracting information from data are already being heavily applied in different business and marketing domains, and they are slowly finding their way into the medical domain. Data mining, in particular, is used in many industries for uncovering hidden patterns and important information that can be analyzed, summarized and presented to decision makers, executives, managers, and organizational leaders in order to help them take the appropriate decisions and actions to increase revenue, ensure customer satisfaction and guarantee prosperity. If we can imitate this business model in the medical domain, restructuring the care model from a physician-driven to a more patient-centered care. This can be accomplished by presenting the patient with the facts and information that is extracted from the similar patterns via mining of large data sets, presenting them with all possible choices, illustrating different scenarios and putting the patient in control of their own health. In doing so, we will achieve an optimal health system that is populated by well-informed and satisfied customers/patients.