What Is Big Data in Healthcare and How Is It Already Being Used?
Topic: What Is Big Data in Healthcare and How Is It Already Being Used?
“Big Data” is a major buzzword these days.
The topic has been making waves in other industries for some time, but many of its applications in healthcare are still in their early stages. The use of big data shows exciting promise for improving health outcomes and controlling costs, as evidenced by some interesting use cases, but the practice seems to be defined somewhat differently by each expert we ask.
Big data in healthcare refers to the vast quantities of data—created by the mass adoption of the Internet and digitization of all sorts of information, including health records—too large or complex for traditional technology to make sense of.
The problem has traditionally been figuring out how to collect all that data and quickly analyze it to produce actionable insights. But with emerging big data technologies, healthcare organizations are able to consolidate and analyze these digital treasure troves in order to discover trends, better treat patients, and make more accurate predictions.
Big data in healthcare is a major reason for the new MACRA requirements around EHRs and the legislative push towards interoperability.
I wanted to understand what big data will mean for healthcare, so I turned to big data analytics and healthcare informatics expert Dr. Russell Richmond to discuss what the future holds.
Dr. Richmond is a leading healthcare technology authority whose experience includes building large data analytics companies, advising health system executives as a consultant, and serving on the boards of big data organizations.
According to Dr. Richmond, one of the most exciting implications for big data in healthcare is that providers will be able to deliver much more precise and personalized care.
With a more complete, detailed picture of patients and populations, they’ll be able to determine how a particular patient will respond to a specific treatment, or even identify at-risk patients before a health issue arises.
As Dr. Richmond put it, “More information yields more granular diagnosis, which creates the opportunity for more precise treatment.”
Understanding the big picture of big data in medicine is important, but so is recognizing the real-world applications of data analytics as they’re being used today.
To that end, here are a few notable examples of big data analytics being deployed in the healthcare community right now.
Topic Discussed: What Is Big Data in Healthcare and How Is It Already Being Used?