Population Health News Catching up with Robbie Hughes

Interview with Robbie Hughes, Founder & CEO, Lumeon – published at Population Health News

Population Health News: In what areas do analytics play the most significant role in health care?
Robbie Hughes: Health analytics really comes into its own with its production of actionable insight. For example, it is interesting to note the increase of heart disease in adults over 50, but what is more interesting is what healthcare providers can actually do about it. Today, this insight is typically generated in registries that allow providers to source cohorts of patients that match certain criteria and then (ideally) push them into workflows for action. But this process is still primarily driven by humans because the complex technology to link various discrete systems, protocols, resources and processes together in a single orchestrated unit is not yet available at scale.

Population Health News: How is the UK different from the United States in the realm?
Robbie Hughes: In the UK, a different approach is available – the universal healthcare system has enabled population data to be sourced in the form of structured data feeds from every primary care physician in the country. This data is then used to design national-level screening and engagement programs, and to determine which interventions actually work, and most controversially, which interventions to fund. This ‘national scale’ orchestration is less about action, and more about flowing funding into specific large-scale interventions that are targeted at specific cohorts. This can range from national advertising campaigns to dedicated recall programs and specific funding incentives. There is, of course, still room for improvement where better data analytics can help remedy population health management programs. For example, one of these programs recently failed to recall 100% of the patients due for mammograms, creating front page national news. Improvements in IT systems, the data they generate, store and analyze, and ways in which health systems can leverage actionable insights from that data can only help improve global population health efforts. But the U.S. is still even further from the expectation of perfect execution due to the siloed way in which many U.S. health systems think about integrated care delivery. To remedy this gap, the U.S. needs to create a meaningful feedback loop that enables population health analytics to start to move beyond trailing business intelligence. Rather, U.S. healthcare must look into examining the wider population on an individual patient level and track interventions against each patient.

Population Health News: What does this mean for integrated payer systems?
Robbie Hughes: With the use of data analytics, integrated payer systems will be in a position to carve out cohorts of patients and selectively target interventions to each, in the future. Moreover, they’ll be able to do so with coordination provided by care managers and primary care physicians who are proactively looking after the health of the population, not just the sickness of individuals. Whilst the UK is often derided for its lack of access to good care, this is one area where a fully integrated healthcare system has not only delivered meaningful results but also significantly changed the expectations of the population for the better in terms of what they believe they can expect from healthcare systems.

For Robbie’s bio, please click here.