Analytics recognizes familiar faces among the vulnerable in society


Lately, the media has again been focusing on the debate about how we can do more for society's vulnerable groups, including children. This is an important debate and an area that we at SAS already have much experience with: when you apply analytics to the right data, something important happens.

Our experiences have mostly taught us that we know how to make use of data to protect society's most vulnerable, who often have needs that involve several public sector systems, such as hospitals, access to health services, access to services in the primary care sector, social services, transportation, education and housing.

Generally, the situation is that the vulnerable individuals are known by government agencies, but there is no comprehensive picture of each individual. Smart use of data and analyses across public sector institutions can create that picture so we can find and help socially vulnerable children and adults before it is too late.

Visionary collaboration to solve health care problems

At SAS, we work with these types of solutions in many places around the world, and therefore I think that you can draw inspiration from efforts elsewhere to solve similar problems.

At HIMSS, the US health industry's largest health information and technology conference, SAS and VirtualHealth entered into a collaboration in spring 2018 that aims to help public institutions in the health care sector to improve care and treatment for individuals and at the same time ensure that public sector costs are reduced. It is expected that there are gains to be made both for the vulnerable and society at large if one manages to coordinate public services not only to improve the state of health of the vulnerable, but also to more effectively make use of insights gained across various sectors.

VirtualHealth is a visionary collaboration between a group of leaders with various backgrounds in industries such as health, technology, finance and telecommunication. They have created a groundbreaking software architecture and, by using modern technologies, overcome complex challenges so that data can now flow without issues between various agencies without the usual siloed thinking. This architecture is used in specialised and collaboration-friendly tools for the health care sector.

VirtualHealth is the leading software as a service platform for health care services and public health. SAS incorporates data management, visualisation and advanced analytic opportunities such as AI and machine learning into VirtualHealth's integrated management platform.

Dr. Joshua Morgan, National Director of Behavioural Health and Whole Person Care at SAS, had this to say about the launch of the new collaboration: "Personal care is about seeing people from a more holistic angle and putting them in the centre of the cross-sectoral and cross-agency initiatives to improve quality. New and unexpected patterns and insights appear when you integrate the data from various systems, which, presumably, have never communicated with each other before."


SAS already works with government agencies to support the creation of a more comprehensive and meaningful picture of the individual citizen. For example, a database and analysis solution allowed San Bernardino County, CA, to integrate behavioural health data and other health and nonhealth data in order to create a user-defined risk score to identify the people who used several public services the most.

Additionally, Wake County, NC, worked with SAS to identify people with recurring interactions in relation to the use of expensive public services. By better understanding the "familiar faces,” Wake County can now ensure that those with the greatest need are proactively offered programs such as temporary housing.

Analytics and integrated health management could revolutionise public health

An integrated health management platform contributes to reducing costs and inefficiencies. Analytics and integrated health management could revolutionise public health and create a healthier population at a lower cost. It can also identify more robust and holistic results that can become a part of new value-based agreements.

If our society is to become even better at helping the vulnerable, then we need to get the right data to communicate with each other. That makes us smarter, and that allows us to make a real difference. One of my American colleagues, Jeremy Racine, the SAS Health Care Strategy, Consultant says: "SAS continues to explore innovative collaborations in the health care sector. Partnerships with the leaders in health care technology, such as VirtualHealth, will, moving forward, be able to create noticeable improvements in the health care sector."

Download a report: How to renew the healthcare sector

This blog was first published in a Danish version at Den


About Author

Henrik Ernlund Pedersen

With more than 20 years of experience in different Management roles and 15 years of working with "how IT can help companies transform and improve the way they counduct their business", I find myself still more inspired about the increasing possibilities that technology and data offers to the business and to IT. As trusted advisors our mission is to help our customers on their analytical journey, by combining the know-how, experience and software solutions that deliver value to our customers where they are.

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