“Big Data will leave no sector untouched as it continues to change the way we think about everything from sales to human resources, and medicine and healthcare are no different,” writes Bernard Marr for Forbes.
Handling data is nothing new to the healthcare industry. But, in recent years, increased abilities to share and access data plus new data from sensors and wearables has created not only more data but better data according to Mr. Marr. In his article he outlines several ways big data will make an impact:
Prevention. Mr. Marr writes, “smartphones and other popular smart devices including Jawbone, Fitbit and others, now have the capacity to help people track their progress towards a healthier lifestyle. Apps and devices to help track and monitor physical fitness but also chronic ailments like diabetes, Parkinson’s and heart disease are also being developed.” Not only do these devices track more data but this data can be more reliable than traditional patient led tracking and reporting methods.
Diagnosis. Improvements are being made to how big data is stored and shared in the healthcare industry with the goal of bringing medical providers more access. Systems, such as IBM’s Watson, are also looking at test results, recognizing patterns and learning in order to aid in diagnostics and improve early detection.
Treatment. To get to more personalized medicine and better patient treatments you first have to start big, as in big data. The results of big data analytics, predictive modeling and new systems crunching vast amounts of information will help to better inform doctors about the needs of each patient.
Big data is definitely a “game changer” for the healthcare industry both now and in the future.