Millions of series of zeros and ones are behind everything we do as scientific research and healthcare professionals. We’re able to process this data through dozens of different lenses, but what gets us truly excited is the growing ability to use predictive analytics to improve population health.

Venebio’s focus in predictive analytics has typically aligned with more mainstream population-health applications, but a recent article from the Wall Street Journal intrigued us with the broader public health impact that these predictive technologies are having.

In “The Rise of the Smart City,” the reporter described practical applications of this technology already being utilized:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana: Prevented house fires by using census data to identify neighborhoods most likely to experience house fires and then provided no-cost smoke detectors to residents
  • Madison, Wisconsin: Identified geographical areas in a city with poor air quality by equipping asthma sufferers with GPS-enabled inhalers that collect time and location data with each puff and transmit to city officials
  • Chicago, Illinois: Decreased the spread of food-borne illnesses by identifying risk factors to predict restaurants at the highest risk of incurring health-inspection violations associated with food-borne illness
  • Mobile, Alabama: Identified and focused public sanitation efforts on garbage-plagued areas by arming inspectors with a smartphone and Instagram photo-sharing app which enabled officials to map areas in need of attention

An example of how Venebio uses predictive analytics can be found in our tool, Venebio Opioid Advisor™ (VOA). VOA identifies individuals or entire populations by risk factors for life-threatening prescription opioid-related overdose and provides the likelihood of an unintentional overdose in the next six months. VOA also supports the health care professional’s clinical decision making by providing actionable recommendations regarding interventions that are customized to each patient’s risk-factor profile.

Utilizing predictive analytics enables smarter, more effective decision making and creates efficiency and better stewardship of limited taxpayer resources (money, personnel, equipment, time).