NC Health Insurer Seeks To Harness Consumer Data

May 14, 2012

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Cary-based information technology giant SAS are collaborating to provide more personalized health care.

SAS is developing predictive modeling software for BCBSNC by combining the health insurer's patient data with anonymous consumer data. Graham Hughes is chief medical officer at SAS. He says the online and retail data they plan to harness is the same widely-available information that Amazon might use when it suggests products that "customers like you" bought.

Graham Hughes: In this case it's very similar. We're saying, people like you could potentially benefit from these types of interventions or opportunities, whether it's a mammogram or a colonoscopy or guidance on my diet. And those can then be made available as offerings to individuals.

Hughes says it's past time for healthcare to join other industries in using customer data to personalize service. He says better-targeted care could reduce costs.