Despite a newfound wealth of data and information, the healthcare sector is lacking in actionable knowledge. This is largely because healthcare data, though plentiful, tends to be inherently complex and fragmented. Health data analytics, with an emphasis on predictive analytics, is emerging as a transformative tool that can enable more proactive and preventative treatment options. This review considers the ways in which predictive analytics has been applied in the for-profit business sector to generate well-timed and accurate predictions of key outcomes, with a focus on key features that may be applicable to healthcare-specific applications. Published medical research presenting assessments of predictive analytics technology in medical applications are reviewed, with particular emphasis on how hospitals have integrated predictive analytics into their day-to-day healthcare services to improve quality of care. This review also highlights the numerous challenges of implementing predictive analytics in healthcare settings and concludes with a discussion of current efforts to implement healthcare data analytics in the developing country, Saudi Arabia.
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