Big Data Will Revolutionize the Healthcare Industry

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Big data will revolutionize the healthcare industry, making current care appear inadequate compared to the safer, cleaner and more efficient healthcare that the future promises. Advancements in data analytics allow healthcare professionals to identify patterns of disease and gage the efficacy of treatments. The following are some examples of big data being implemented in healthcare in the U.S.:

  • Intel recently announced that it is working with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research on an initiative that uses data extracted from wearable devices to detect patterns in the progression of the disease.
  • WANdisco is helping the University of Irvine Medical Center reduce the number of deaths caused by medical errors by using the platform Hadoop to digitally store and analyze all data relating to patients' conditions in real time, whether they are remote or in the hospital.
  • Jersey City's Medical EMS partnered with Bradshaw Consulting Services to improve its ability to respond to emergency calls. The hospital now uses a system that combines geographic information system technology, wireless communications and GPS data to help response units arrive at their destination more quickly.
  • Michigan Health & Hospital Association's Keystone Center now uses ArborMetrix's technology to collect obstetrics data and reports at 60 hospitals. The hospitals are using the data to monitor the readmission rates for pneumonia and heart failure.

Despite the United States' progress with big data, the National Health Service (NHS) is convinced that the U.K. has the potential to be the leader in data driven healthcare. The NHS has information dating back to the 1940's that if centrally stored, could provide British doctors with an unparalleled insight into patient wellbeing. If it is properly used, this data could revolutionize treatments and help the U.K. take the lead in the bioscience industry. Unlike the United States, the U.K. is hesitant to use the patient records, and earlier this year the U.K. suspended its plans for Care.data, a central vault of patients' records. The biggest issue for the U.K. is their struggle to accept the tradeoff between individual privacy and the benefits of medical research.

People are often reluctant to accept new technology because they fear it or do not trust that it will be successful. For example, the government received a lot of negative feedback from the public when Bill Clinton introduced his investment of $1 billion in the human genome project back in the 1990's. However, this created a $150 billion industry and one of the most important medical breakthroughs in our generation. Big data analytics will allow for better medical insights that can save lives.

Written by Caroline Smith

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