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2015 Review – Big Data in Healthcare

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Jennifer Bresnick put together an interesting take on how big data is taking shape in the healthcare industry for Health IT Analytics. She writes, “Even in a decade filled with milestone events for the healthcare industry, 2015 must certainly stand out as one of the most eventful years for the big data analytics world. From the raging controversy over the timing of Stage 3 meaningful use, the less-dire-than-expected ICD-10 conversion, and the increasing pressure on vendors to make EHR interoperability a priority to the advent of the Internet of Things and a system-wide push to put population health management into action, the past twelve months have been packed with progress, change, and even a few disappointing setbacks.”

Let’s check out what leading trends developed this past year:

Internet of things (IoT). Using devices to track healthcare data allows for more personalization of patient care. Ms. Bresnick writes, “IoT devices have the potential to improve patient safety, make chronic disease management simpler, and provide healthcare organizations with the detailed data they need to engage in effective population health management programs. While the associated influx of data may seem like trouble to overwhelmed clinicians still struggling to wrestle their EHRs into submission, IoT developers are putting plenty of effort into designing interfaces that ease the burden of sifting through reams of data from sleep trackers, diet apps, heart monitors, and smartwatches.”

Precision medicine. Ms. Bresnick comments that precision medicine is moving from theory to everyday practice. Several initiatives are coming together currently to not only build data sources but also to put findings into the hands of practitioners.

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Big data-driven care. As the healthcare industry is pushed to be more effective, while continuing to provide quality innovative patient care, big data use could be the key to success. Ms. Bresnick explains, “big data has the potential to help healthcare organizations balance their competing initiatives and equip providers with the tools they need to leverage their EHRs for better care rather than feel overwhelmed by them. The trick is to understand how big data can be valuable, how it intersects with mandated reporting requirements, and why it’s so important to improve the way the healthcare system measures its progress and evaluates its weaknesses.”

In the healthcare industry yourself? Share your thoughts on key big data transformations in 2015.