Tackling the challenge of fragmented data in French healthcare

By Cécile Mico, Head of Business Development, Healthcare, DXC Technology, France; and Vincent Planat, Healthcare Architect and Technologist, DXC Technology, France

Healthcare organizations face significant challenges as they tackle rising instances of chronic disease, a growing elderly population with comorbidities, and the urgent need to reduce costs. One way to reduce costs is to move care management toward a more patient-centric approach.

However, fragmented IT systems and data silos applications that historically had been built for each domain or specialty prevent true cross-disciplinary services development. Valuable records — such as notes, results and clinical data, and ultimately unstructured data coming from internet of things (IoT) devices — from specialists and other healthcare practitioners, have been captured in databases, where they remain underutilized.

Healthcare organizations recognize the opportunity to better utilize the data to enhance treatment regimens across the system and to gain insights to drive personalized care and population health. The first step, however, is to tackle the issue of data silos by connecting systems and aggregating the data into a single platform that practitioners can access and from which they can extract information.

By aggregating the data and the clinical decision support applications and streamlining the workflow into a single platform, organizations will be better placed to take a patient-centric approach to healthcare.

The question for large healthcare organizations has been how best to go about aggregating applications and data.

The most common way to consolidate data from various clinical sources is to deploy an enterprise data warehouse embedded with ETL (extract, transform and load) modules to collect and format data. These systems run a central data model, storing most of the patient clinical data, such as radiology images, admissions, transfers and diagnostics.

The challenge with taking this approach is that it doesn’t allow easy and flexible integration of unstructured data, and it isn’t conducive to real-time analytics and visualization.

A disruptive and innovative approach — such as the one DXC Technology’s platform DXC Open Health Connect has adopted — is to enable integration of data from across the healthcare system and then to extract maximum value from the data. Key is the ability to connect healthcare networks by using flexible connectors for popular protocols such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and Health Level-7 version 2 (HL7 v2). The use of pre-built adapters can allow continuous innovation, while a schema-less data store supports large-scale deployments.

But a platform such as this goes much further by enabling integration with other best-in-class solutions and applications. That means healthcare organizations can integrate data analytics applications to gain new insights into the data, as well as use artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to take advantage of new ways of managing data. For example, one organization that specializes in population health has built a tool to identify shifts and patterns in data and predict conditions in advance. This would enable healthcare practices to evaluate and predict the risk, so they could provide the right service to the right patient, and prevent a crisis.

Adopting and using a flexible, integrated approach becomes all the more valuable, given the rapidly evolving digital healthcare environment and the explosion of data from the IoT, which ultimately will lead to a big increase in the number of systems of records.

Importantly, an integrated platform that brings together the best players and capabilities on the market leads to a multidisciplinary effort that can transform the healthcare industry. It connects data scientists with engineers and subject matter experts as well as clinicians to ensure that every application is fit for its purpose.

Healthcare organizations recognize the value of an integrated platform that allows them to utilize their data. The challenge is how to get there and leverage tools that can advance the goals of personalized medicine and address population health requirements while also cutting costs.


  1. very useful article ..thanks for sharing with us. hoping to see more.


  1. […] patients, such as reports, lab results, imaging and so on. As I’ve noted in a previous blog, fragmented IT systems and data silos prevent true cross-disciplinary services development, which means that valuable records remain […]

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