How Biostatistics is Transforming Healthcare

Posted April 7, 2020 by ssipune1248

In recent times, we have been observing the change in the levels of awareness among the general public regarding health and the developing trends

Healthcare Sector in India: An Overview

In recent times, we have been observing the change in the levels of awareness among the general public regarding health and the developing trends in the areas of effective and affordable healthcare delivery. The healthcare scenario in the country today, points towards increasing awareness of diseases and their treatment. Information technology (IT) is making giant inroads into Healthcare as well. The commercialisation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be seen in the rapid incorporation of new applications in different areas of treatment and care.
Technology is playing a significant role in making treatment less painful, time-saving and affordable. No one can deny that the Internet of Things (IoT) is the future of healthcare. Artificial intelligence and data analytics are bringing greater opportunities for the sector, offering faster, more effective treatment options that have wider affordability and acceptability. Robotic surgeries, radiation surgery or radio therapies with cyberknife options, and transplant support systems, among other facilities, are likely to see further advancements.
Technology-led innovations in healthcare are bound to open doors to a newer, braver world where healthcare is much more accessible and affordable. India’s medical tourism industry is expected to grow to around $8 billion industry by 2020 from the current $3 billion. Given this scenario, it is safe to predict that India is set to become the hub for medical tourism in the very near future.
Biostatistics and Healthcare

Biostatistics is a branch of Statisticswhich deals with the data related to Medical Science, Public Health, Medical Research, Epidemiology and so on. In simpler words, when we apply Statistics in Biological Science – it is called Biostatistics.

Biostatistics is a method that comprises of a collection of data, summarizing, analyzing and drawing inferences in scenarios such as:

A local Public Health Centre (PHC) wants to know the proportion of people affected by an outbreak of certain disease and to find out the causes behind it and to prevent further circumstances.
During a clinical trial, there are many phases for drug or device development. And the question arises “How will they know whether the trial is going good or bad?”
In a pharmaceutical company, they want to know the dissolution rate of a particular tablet and to know whether it satisfies the desired rate or not. Similarly, they want to know the mean weight of a tablet to compare with other batches. Now, the question is “How will they do the analysis?”

In the above-mentioned scenarios, we apply Biostatistics concepts and do the analysis. Based on the analysis results, the inference is drawn about the given problem.
The National Cancer Institute defines biostatistics as “the science of collecting and analyzing biologic or health data using statistical methods.” The use of statistics in health care dates back more than a century to the earliest application of the scientific method in medical research. Many health care decisions are based in small or large part on the results of biostatistical research. What has changed in recent years is the amount of health-related data available to researchers, the technology available to translate the information into knowledge, and the need to improve the quality and efficiency of health care.
Uses of Biostatistics
Medical Research

Methods from this form of study are used significantly in medical research as a way of obtaining, analyzing and interpreting data in order to reach the conclusion that guides the medical community. In fact, the role of biostatistics is quite crucial in the understanding of a multitude of important health issues. The data provided through the lens of such a study is used to provide insights that determine if a treatment is effective, as well as to isolate factors that are contributing to disease. These examples are just a few relevant ways that statistical methods can guide biological study in medicine.

Epidemiology is an umbrella term covering the wide range of public health matters. The cause, progression and spread of disease are analyzed using biology and statistics. This information gives researchers insight into such considerations as specific symptoms, mortality rates and when outbreaks may occur. The development of vaccines and other medical interventions are guided through such knowledge. No longer is medical research merely observation-based. Much more can be accomplished through the use of detailed statistical analysis and evidence.

Cancer Research
While statistical methods are a benefit to medical research in general, the incorporation of statistics in the realm of cancer research is particularly useful. Because treatments such as chemotherapy are so hard on the body and can cause such drastic side effects, medical professionals want to be able to discontinue the use of particular therapies as soon as possible if they are not having the desired effect on patients. The use of statistical evidence can show medical personnel more clearly and quickly which methods are making a difference and which aren’t helping so that a new course of action can be more readily employed. As with other medical research, biostatistical methods are also a guiding force in the clinical trials and cause identification of cancer.

Biostatistics’ Relationship to Nursing?

Familiarity with statistical principles helps nurses understand and evaluate the results of health care studies. It also enables them to participate in medical research projects and communicate the results of biostatistical research to patients and other health care workers in ways that are easy for them to understand. The analytical and interpretive concepts underlying biostatistics correspond to many advanced nursing practices, including the creation of more efficient care delivery systems and the development of individualized care strategies intended to improve patient outcomes.
Skills Required in Biostatistics

A biostatistics definition from a practical perspective must incorporate the specific training and experience required to ensure that practitioners are able to apply the technology in their daily work. Understanding how biostatistics data translates into improved health care delivery and patient outcomes requires strong analytical and technological competencies to gather and interpret the data. Well-developed communication skills enable accurate deployment of custom patient care strategies to ensure that the individual care plans created for their patients are being followed and are having the desired effect.
Career Scope as a Biostatistician
Biostatisticians in Medical Research:
Biostatisticians (Post Graduate in Statistics or Medical/Health) are in high demand due to their various responsibilities in scientific data. They also collaborate with informatics, experts, scientists, and researchers for various functions. They consider the variables in subjects like patients, communities, or population to understand them and also make sense of different sources of variation. It is to achieve their ultimate goal of solving problems in public health by disentangling the received data and make valid inferences. It is the reason they are in demand in government agencies and legislative offices. Their research is used often to influence changes at the policy-making levels.
Responsibilities Include:
To determine the ways to utilize the vast information and statistics obtained through various sources like genomics, clinical trials, experimental studies and observational and longitudinal studies for public health.
Being specialists of data evaluation, they take complex and mathematical findings of clinical trials and research related data. They then translate them into variable information to make public health decisions.
Biostatisticians are required to develop statistical methods for the following:
Clinical trials to study and evaluate treatments, screening and prevention methods in the population
Epidemiological studies of the origins of disease in humans
Spatial studies of the geographical distribution of disease and risk factors
Genomics which is the study of the biological activity of genes as they relate to disease and treatments
Human genetics a study of the genetic differences among diseases and disease stateBiostatistics is responsible for public health all over the world with data collection and its interpretation in various ways.

Biostatistician in Clinical Research
Many students studying medicine find it unnecessary in their initial years of study to learn statistics. But the reality is many profound doctors feel the need biostatistics since in the time of their study it was not in the medical study curriculum. The doctors need to study biostatistics not only for researchers but also to enhance their reading capability of medical literature. Only with the introduction of evidence-based medicines as a cornerstone for medical management, biostatistics came into vital prevalence.
Responsibilities Include:
It is, in turn, is based on many randomized controlled clinical types of research. Only this will provide rock-solid evidence to help doctors in making decisions on the best management options for patients. A firm understanding of statistical methods only will facilitate the understanding of clinical research methods and results. Hence biostatistics plays an important role in evidence-based medicine, which is the base for doctors to recommend treatments for patients now.
Other roles of biostatistics in clinical research:

It is crucial for any clinical research from design, conduct, analysis, and reporting in terms of controlling and minimizing biases, confounding factors, and measuring random errors.
They provide formal accounting for sources of variability n patients’ response to treatment.
It helps the clinical researcher to form reasonable and precise inferences from all collected information to make the correct decisions during the presence of uncertainty.
The Final Say

The application of statistics to biological and medical data promises to have a tremendous impact on the provision of health care and prevention of disease. The accurate interpretation of biostatistical data can serve as the foundation for efforts to improve public health and the quality of patient care. They need to remember that the patients are the most important stakeholders in the chain, as they are the end-users who deserve to lead a healthy, fulfilling life.
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Issued By ssi pune
Country India
Categories Education
Last Updated April 7, 2020