365 Data Use Cases: Recommendation Systems in the Medical Industry with Alex Freberg

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Alex Freberg 3 May 2023 1 min read

Hello, I'm Alex Freberg and I'm excited to take part in the 365 Data Use Cases series hosted by 365 Data Science.

If you haven't come across my channel, I am Alex the Analyst on YouTube. I make content dedicated to data analytics, what you can do with your data, and how you can become a data analyst faster.

But today, I am here to talk about use cases for your data.

Something I think almost all of us are aware of nowadays is recommendation systems. Thanks to Google, Facebook, and Amazon, everyone has been recommended a product or a TV show that they have bought or watched at some point in their life. However, I'm going to tell you about a different type of recommendation system - one that is potentially saving lives in the healthcare industry.

We also made a video on the topic - you can check it out below or just scroll down to keep on reading.

How Does a Recommendation System in the Medical Industry Work?

Let me illustrate that with a specific data use case from my professional experience.

Imagine going to your primary care physician and providing them with your basic demographics, such as your height, your weight, your gender, and ethnicity, as well as your medical history, for example, a diagnosis or a procedure.

After 30 to 45 minutes of sitting in the waiting area, you finally get in to see your doctor. Then you talk for a while, and he recommends that you get cancer screening. You go ahead with what the doctor recommends, you get the screening, and it turns out that you do have cancer. But luckily, thanks to this doctor's recommendation, you were able to catch it very early on. You get the treatment, and you are completely fine.

Now, that is a good ending to the story. But it is not just a story. This type of recommendation system is a product that thousands of physicians are actually using.

Today, when you go into your doctor's office, your information is put into an Electronic medical record, a.k.a. EMR system. And if the hospital is using this recommendation system, that EMR data gets aggregated with millions of other patients' data all around the country. It then runs your data through a set of calculations and logic, which carefully takes into account your demographics and your medical history. Based on that, it then recommends to your doctor any procedures or any screenings that they should consider.

This recommendation system in the health industry is a real product that I got to work on, and I found it absolutely fascinating and I hope that I gave you a good example of how data can be used and have a tremendous impact in the real world. 

But if you want to dive deeper into the subject of recommender systems and machine learning, check out the 365 Data Science course that's perfect for beginners, Machine Learning in Python.

Alex Freberg

Data Analysis expert

Alex is a data analyst with rich experience in helping companies better manage and utilize their data. His YouTube channel provides aspiring data analysts with the insight they need to get started in the field.