What Digital Health Companies Need to Know About Healthcare Data Management

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    Sheraz Sarwar
    Sheraz SarwarFebruary 16, 2022

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    Digitization is increasing in every industry, including healthcare. There is more individual healthcare data available than ever before. 

    The majority of healthcare systems around the world have moved to electronic medical records, over paper records. Even paper records are being ported into digital format. However, not all medical groups are using the same electronic records systems which can be a challenges for digital healthcare software that needs to integrate with multiple different systems. 

    Healthcare Data Management

    On top of this, healthcare tech has seen a boom in recent years. Wearable tech like Apple Watches, and mobile health apps, are more popular than ever before. This demonstrates the public's increasing interest in self-management. 

    With all this information available, it is key that healthcare data is managed correctly. Healthcare data management tools organize and store patient information, including health records, medical notes and tech data. They allow for integration into worldwide health systems, and enable analysis to improve patient outcomes. The priority is to ensure that healthcare data is both accessible, and stored securely to meet compliance requirements.

    Benefits of Healthcare Data Management

    As the quantity of data increases, so does the demand for healthcare data management. These systems allow us to utilize and store valuable healthcare data, for the benefit of physicians, facilities and patients. 

    Population Health

    Large amounts of health data are most commonly used for research purposes. Effective data management makes utilizing large data sets more manageable for public health bodies. 

    The data might be used for public health research. For example, during the COVID pandemic, data stored due to healthcare data management helped researchers to understand the virus and its symptoms. 

    However, healthcare data management also provides a monitoring system for public health. The systems provide data on overall health in specific geographic locations, in ethnic groups or in specific age ranges. This means that healthcare trends can be tracked or predicted.  As a result, treatments or preventative measures can be put in place to address these problems.

    Overall, effective organization and storage of data improves the health of the population. A wider understanding of public health is beneficial to both the healthcare industry, and the individual.

    Improved Patient Outcomes

    Similarly, access to healthcare data improves outcomes for individual patients. Health data management allows data to be transferred across facilities, physicians and insurers as needed. 

    The ability to transfer data means that patients can receive care at any facility, when they need it. It’s also possible to see a specialist for certain problems, and the specialist can access important healthcare information. 

    Previously, medical notes and healthcare information were created and stored on paper records. This created a real roadblock when a patient needed to visit another physician. Not to mention that records would regularly go missing or appear incomplete.

    Thanks to health data management, data is accessible when required, and can be used for the benefit of the patients' treatment. Patients are provided with treatment plans based on up-to-date information, treatment is efficient and they receive better care overall. 

    Data-Driven Decision-Making

    Health data management also benefits healthcare facilities from a treatment and business perspective. Data-informed decision-making is more accurate, and can help to guide investment and healthcare decisions.

    Trends in diseases or illnesses can provide information on what professionals are required, what equipment might be needed and more. For example, increases in cancer diagnosis might encourage the healthcare system to focus on marketing around cancer prevention, or early diagnosis. Hospitals might look to recruit more oncologists, or conduct further research around cancer treatments. 

    Ultimately, the ideal outcome is more patients receive better treatment for these diseases. It’s key that the healthcare industry is prepared for any new trend or increase in illness that comes it's way. Monitoring forecasts and trends across the industry is just one way to remain prepared for the future.

    Challenges of Healthcare Data Management

    As with any data storage, health data management comes with challenges. The healthcare industry is one of the largest and fastest evolving industries in the world. Data management needs to keep on top of the quantity of data, while prioritizing patient care. 


    Medical notes and electronic medical records require relatively little storage. Despite this, healthcare data management requires the storage of millions, even billions, of records. Needless to say, database systems need to be able to keep up with the sheer quantity of data. 

    Electronic health records are perhaps the least of our concerns. As technology advances, healthcare equipment is capable of more than ever. Machines like x-rays, MRI scanners, CT scanners and more are producing larger and larger amounts of data. As digital health evolves, more storage is going to be required. 

    Health data management needs to be able to evolve with the growing industry. As populations grow, and data file sizes grow, it’s imperative that the healthcare industry keeps up. Data storage will always be an important component in the successful operation of healthcare systems. 


    The healthcare industry is highly regulated to protect against the misuse of private data. In the US, HIPAA compliance is a top priority in healthcare data management. However, countries outside of the US have similar regulatory requirements. For example, GDPR protects all personal data in EU countries.

    As a result, healthcare data needs to be stored securely. Specifically, the HIPAA security rule dictates the requirements for the storage of ePHI (protected health information). The regulation advises on the necessary safeguards to keep health information safe. This includes physical, technical and administrative safeguards. These safeguards are key for health data management systems. 

    HIPAA and compliance breaches are costly, and are often made due to human error. Healthcare data management faces the challenge of preventing breaches as effectively as possible. It’s critical that databases meet compliance requirements, for the safety of patients.

    Healthcare Data Management


    Interoperability is a challenge in all areas of digital health. Health systems around the world are notoriously inconsistent. As a result, it can be challenging to implement technologies on a national scale. This can cause issues for patients, as levels of care and availability of records can vary across states, let alone countries. 

    Healthcare records struggle with this issue in particular. Health systems differ in different states, countries, or continents. Worldwide interoperability is difficult to achieve, as worldwide health systems have developed at different speeds. Some countries still operate using paper records, while others rely solely on electronic databases. 

    This issue makes receiving consistent care, anywhere in the world, a real challenge. Healthcare data management can provide access to important healthcare information instantly. However, this is only useful if the specific healthcare facility has the physical ability to access your electronic records. If they’re stored on a different system than their own, or they use paper systems, vital information is inaccessible. 

    As healthcare technology progresses, it’s imperative that healthcare data management focuses on interoperability. The widespread access to valuable health information is imperative for improved patient outcomes. 

    At Vertrical, we build compliant digital health solutions. We understand the importance of an efficient health database, with compliance at the heart. We work for the improvement of the healthcare sector, and patient experience. Get in touch with us today to discuss your digital health development projects.



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