Big data has already begun to revolutionise industries such as retail and technology. Next on the list to harness its ever-growing power is healthcare.

While many businesses already recognise that big data is something they need to consider, numerous organisations are unsure where to start with implementation, and this looks to be the case for the healthcare industry.

The healthcare sector is bursting with data, but issues arise due its sensitivity and ease of accessibility.

Stefano Bertozzi, the Dean and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, speaks about how healthcare data is getting bigger all the time. Discussing the surprisingly rapid change of how quickly we are digitising data in the health sector, and how it goes far beyond the data department.

Data starts to become more relevant when used in different areas of a hospital including human resources, supply chain, and specific clinics.


How big data can help healthcare

big data and healthcare

The introduction of big data in healthcare has paved the way for new opportunities in the treatment of patients, including precision medicine, drug development, and advanced cancer therapy.

It’s also lead to technological advancements across the sector, including supplemented enhanced health monitoring, and the improved upkeep of electronic health records (EHRs).

When implementing new analytical software and tools, workflow and standard-of-care can also be improved. By taking into account workflow developments of new equipment compared to old equipment, it allows statistics to be collated to justify a return on investment.

The analytical software can also be used to monitor data and set up alerts for other medical procedures including close radiation, the amount of time patient attending clinics, and also the procedural times in labs.


The use of big data in healthcare

big data and healthcare examples

The introduction of big data in healthcare has paved the way for new opportunities in the treatment of patients, including precision medicine, drug development, and advanced cancer therapy.

It’s also lead to technological advancements across the sector, including supplemented enhanced health monitoring, and the improved upkeep of electronic health records (EHRs).

When implementing new analytical software and tools, workflow and standard-of-care can also be improved. By taking into account workflow developments of new equipment compared to old equipment, it allows statistics to be collated to justify a return on investment.

The analytical software can also be used to monitor data and set up alerts for other medical procedures including close radiation, the amount of time patient attending clinics, and also the procedural times in labs.


The challenges of big data in healthcare

big data and healthcare challenges

The world has seen a large influx of robots and technology in the industry. However, they aren’t taking over the healthcare sector just yet.

Phrases such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are beginning to take hold in the sector, but a human touch is still preferred when it comes to treatment.

Emerging technology is changing the structure of healthcare support. But to make it beneficial human monitoring is still a required factor, particularly in regards to patient interaction.

When receiving a diagnosis, a patient will, of course, find it more comforting to receive that information from a human. Why? Because although data can provide answers, in reality, using a machine to give a prognosis can be emotionless.

Technology is now making it easier for people to navigate life and manage on their own. However, in healthcare, it is still detached from emotion, as one-to-one engagement is still the most efficient way to treat patients.


The benefits of big data in healthcare

big data and healthcare benefits

The implementation of big data raises the opportunity for huge potential benefits for healthcare. From use in ordinary tasks such as data entry to advanced techniques like monitoring patients, data is truly shaping the way of how we live and think.

Big data has given health care a huge opportunity to evaluate the quality of treatment. By using quality algorithms reports can be created based on criteria such as doctor training, publication history, current institute, and patient outcomes.

It is also lifting the geographical boundaries faced by healthcare, allowing rural countries to receive basic treatment and the access to a highly qualified physician.

However, ultimately, the aim is to provide the patient’s health data to make major decisions regarding their treatment and care to make delivery a lot more efficient. Matching patients to the most experienced (and suitable) physicians for their specific needs from the start.

Do you think this is just the beginning of the use of big data in the healthcare sector? Let us know your views in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up to the Churchill Frank blog.

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