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Healthcare Orgs Less Urgent to Invest in Big Data and AI


Almost 43 percent of healthcare executives reported that there is no single point of accountability when it comes to who has control over the data in an organization, according to a new survey.

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The priority of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) within healthcare has risen, according to a survey by NewVantage Partners.

In its seventh annual survey of senior corporate C-suite executives on big data and AI business adoption, NewVantage Partners saw an uptick in representation from healthcare organizations. In 2018, 8.8 percent of participants in the survey were healthcare organizations, while in 2019, the number nearly doubled to 16.6 percent.

One big finding of the survey was that while 91.6 percent confirmed the pace of investment in big data and AI is increasing, financial services firms reported a greater increase in pace with 95.2 percent accelerating investment, compared to 79.6 percent for healthcare.

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Financial services firms also showed greater urgency to invest in big data and AI initiatives (91.7 percent), while healthcare organizations were less urgent (78.6 percent).

Overall, executives reinforced the idea that they are motivated by a fear of disruptive forces and competitors, with 75 percent of executives feeling concerned. And the fear of disruption was higher among healthcare executives (78.6 percent) than financial services executives, who had a slightly lower degree of fear (72.6 percent).

Executives were also asked about the applicability of blockchain technology within healthcare. But despite some advocates pushing for the implementation of such technology, only 28.6 percent of healthcare organizations reported investing in it, compared to 45.2 percent of financial services firms.

Despite investment in big data and AI increasing, the number of firms and organizations claiming to have created a data-driven organization is down to 31 percent.

Healthcare organizations did show greater success in competing on analytics than financial services firms though, with 57.1 percent indicating that they were successful at competing on data and analytics, while 45.1 percent of financial services firms reported success.

In terms of leadership, executives reported that 67.9 percent of firms and organizations surveyed have appointed a chief data/analytics officer, up from just 12 percent in 2012. And while nearly half of executives reported that the chief data/analytics officer has the primary responsibility for data within their organization, 28.4 percent said there is no single point of accountability — 42.9 percent of healthcare executives fell under this branch.

While 42 financial services and insurance firms were represented in the survey, 13 healthcare and life sciences organizations were represented, including Aetna, CVS Health, United Health, Johnson & Johnson, Cigna and Sanofi.

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