The global healthcare analytics market is expected to reach about $29.9 billion by 2022 from $7.2 billion in 2016, according to a new report by MarketsandMarkets. The report attributes this growth to governments pushing electronic health record adoption, healthcare cost reduction initiatives, access to healthcare-related big data, growing venture capital investments, increased interest in improving patient outcomes, and advancements in technology. Data analytics has the potential to make the healthcare system operate more efficiently, but the US is not effectively leveraging its data when compared to other countries.

As discussed in a recent conference on tomorrow’s healthcare, providers are not collecting data in a timely, systematic manner. In addition to this issue, analytics adoption is not consistent. Frost & Sullivan reported that some health systems use enterprise data processing architecture to determine patient-related information for each episode of care, while others use basic reporting provided in legacy business intelligence tools. Investments in analytics are being driven by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ push to track patient outcomes using information technology.

Companies like Amazon and Microsoft are using cloud computing to tackle healthcare data storage and analysis. Amazon Web Services (AWS), for example, offers a suite of pay-as-you-go services to help healthcare providers manage patient information. Microsoft has its own comprehensive set of cloud offerings.

The Internet of Things (IOT), the network of computing devices connected to the Internet, used in conjunction with Big Data technologies, is being touted as another method to drive health analytics and speed up healthcare improvements. Wearable devices have the potential to not only alert the user of health issues, but to also alert health professionals so action can be taken before health conditions escalate. Tracking devices are becoming more sophisticated. The FDA just approved a pill with a sensor that tracks whether a patient has ingested their medication. The sensor transmits a message to a wearable patch which transmits the information to a mobile application.

Data must be effectively collected and consolidated before it can be transformed into information and insights. The state of data analytics in the U.S. presents a massive opportunity for innovation solutions.