In eras past, entertainment, aerospace, fashion, consumer products, and tourism have radically transformed and diversified the L.A. economy. Today, we are at a major inflection point in another area: the crossover between health care and technology is poised to thrust Los Angeles forward at remarkable speed. Area health care organizations such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Huntington Memorial Hospital, and Dignity Health are embarking on health technology initiatives that will transform their operations and change the way health care is delivered in Los Angeles.

Much of this conversion is driven by “Big Data” – vast amounts of information that is captured, aggregated, analyzed, and turned into predictive modeling that provides critical information about patterns in health and disease to inform potential treatment options and minimize inefficiencies and waste from the health care system.

Los Angeles must accelerate even more to keep up with, much less surpass, other regions such as Washington, D.C.-Baltimore; Boston; Austin, Texas; and the Bay Area-Silicon Valley, which are all moving forward in health IT at blinding speed. If we want to make Los Angeles the health technology mecca, we need look no further than these three categories of organizations that are already leading the way:

Accountable Care Organizations are using data and technology to advance the “Triple Aim.”

Health care organizations are becoming data-driven enterprises as a means of achieving the Institute for Health Care Improvement’s “Triple Aim”: improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per-capita cost of health care. In accountable care organizations, a delivery model in which a network of doctors and hospitals share financial and medical responsibility for providing coordinated care to patients while limiting unnecessary spending, administrators rely heavily on data to identify and address gaps in quality, risk, utilization, and medical history insights.

Medicare reported in 2014 that ACOs saved more than $380 million in the first year alone. The L.A. region was an early adopter of ACOs, and as our medical community continues to transition to value-based care, it will increasingly rely on data solutions that help to improve clinical and quality outcomes as well as financial performance.

Many of our regional hospitals and health systems are redefining their organizations through technology and Big Data.

At a recent Health Care Information Management Systems Society conference, the largest health IT conference in the world, Cedars-Sinai representatives presented research on how cloud analytics and related technologies improve and scale remote patient monitoring to detect deterioration in heart failure patients well before symptoms appear, preventing needless hospitalization. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles bases its pediatric research in its Center for Innovation, which oversees the Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics and is associated with more than 30 active technologies.

Health care IT and analytics providers are accelerating patient care and improving outcomes.

Aggregated data has led to prescriptive analytics, which examine past and recent data in order to recommend a medical course of action and show probable health outcomes. New technological solutions allow physicians to access this information quickly, even at the point of care, enabling them to consider data-based insights and carry out meaningful health interventions quickly. Analytics are also advancing the promise of genomic sequencing. Scientists are rapidly working to combine sequenced genomic data with other medical data in order to get a better picture of disease in an individual, and in many cases, determine precision treatments based on those insights. Additionally in pharmacy, health care companies such as Genoa are using data to monitor and improve medication adherence rates to record levels.

Los Angeles is already ground zero for health care innovation. Teams at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center are working with 3-D printers to produce multidimensional models of internal issues so that surgeons can simulate a variety of possible procedures before ever going into the operating room. We’re developing a bioscience niche through the L.A. County Biosciences Initiative, as witnessed by a newly announced $250,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help seed the bioscience industry. Numerous established health care companies and startups are located here, including insurer Health Net, pharmaceutical company Kite Pharma, health care communication provider MPulse, and technology company MD Insider, and the growth of Silicon Beach portends the installation of many more.

Big Data is the next frontier in health care, and some prescient community will decide to nurture Big Data in health care companies as part of its regional lure. Shouldn’t it be Los Angeles?

Gary Mangiofico, Ph.D., is associate dean of executive programs and executive professor of leadership and management for Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. John G. Figueroa is chief executive of Genoa and chairman of Apria Healthcare Group Inc.

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