IT modernization and innovative new technologies change the healthcare industry significantly. This blog series explores how data streaming with Apache Kafka enables real-time data processing and business process automation. Real-world examples show how traditional enterprises and startups increase efficiency, reduce cost, and improve the human experience across the healthcare value chain, including pharma, insurance, providers, retail, and manufacturing. This is part one: Overview.
Healthcare – A broad spectrum of very different domains
Health care is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, amelioration, or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments.
Health professionals and allied health fields deliver health care. Medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, midwifery, nursing, optometry, audiology, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, athletic training, and other health professions are all part of health care. It includes work done in providing primary care, secondary care, tertiary care, and public health. Access to health care varies across countries, communities, and individuals, influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as health policies.
The Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry (also called the medical industry or health economy) is one of the world’s largest industries. It aggregates and integrates sectors within the economic system that provide goods and services to treat patients with curative, preventive, rehabilitative, and palliative care.
This industry includes the generation and commercialization of goods and services lending themselves to maintaining and re-establishing health. The modern healthcare industry has three essential branches: Services, products, and finance, and may be divided into many sectors and categories.
The blog series explores the technical architectures and use cases relevant across the healthcare supply chain. The slide deck shows various real-world deployments from different domains.
Real-time data beats slow data in the healthcare sector
Processing information in the proper context at the right time is crucial for most use cases across the healthcare value chain. Real-time data processing with the Kafka ecosystem reduces risks, improves efficiency, and decreases cost in many domains. Here are some examples:
A real-time Kappa architecture beats batch processing with Lambda architectures and adds business value in almost all use cases.
Apache Kafka to process data in motion across the healthcare supply chain
The beauty of the Kafka ecosystem is the capability to provide a truly decoupled infrastructure for workloads at any scale, including transactional and analytical use cases.
Data flows in and out of various systems. Some are real-time. Others are batch or web service APIs. Some are modern and cloud-native microservices. Others are monolithic proprietary on-premise applications. Some use open standards like Health Level Seven (HL7) with FHIR, others use open data formats like JSON, and some use proprietary data formats.
Here is an example of public health data automation. It leverages Apache Kafka to connect claims and clinical data from proprietary legacy systems with modern cloud-native microservices:
Real-World Deployments of Apache Kafka in the Healthcare Industry
Many healthcare companies leverage Kafka today. Use cases exist in every domain across the healthcare value chain. Most companies deploy data streaming in different business domains. Use cases often overlap. I tried to categorize a few real-world deployments into different technical scenarios and added a few real-world examples:
- Legacy Modernization and Hybrid Cloud (Optum / UnitedHealth Group, Centene, Bayer)
- Streaming ETL (Bayer, Babylon Health)
- Real-time Analytics (Cerner, Celmatix, CDC/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Machine Learning and Data Science (Recursion, Humana)
- Open API and Omnichannel (Care.com, Invitae)
Stay tuned for a dedicated blog post for each of these topics as part of this blog series. I will link the blogs here as soon as they are available (in the next few weeks). Subscribe to my newsletter to get an email after each publication (no spam or ads).
Slide Deck – Apache Kafka in Healthcare
Here is a slide deck that covers an introduction, use cases, and architectures for data streaming with Apache Kafka in the healthcare sector:
The other blogs of the series take a deeper look into the use cases and architectures.
Data Streaming as Game Changer in Healthcare
Think about IoT sensor analytics, cybersecurity, patient communication, insurance, research, and many other domains. Real-time data beats slow data in the healthcare supply chain almost everywhere.
The above slide deck is an excellent overview of the added value of data streaming to modernize IT infrastructure and build innovative new applications in the cloud or hybrid scenarios. Several real-world deployments show how game-changing the technology is for this very traditional and often still paper-driven sector.
How do you leverage data streaming with Apache Kafka in the healthcare industry? What architecture does your platform use? Which products do you combine with data streaming? Let’s connect on LinkedIn and discuss it! Stay informed about new blog posts by subscribing to my newsletter.