Health Care Data Solutions and The Future of Big Data


Big data is being applied in the healthcare industry in many ways and its continued use has led to an increased availability of Health Care Data Solutions. With the increased accessibility and usability of big data, there has been increased uses by both care providers and patients. Big data can be used in devices and systems that can help to alert individuals and medical professionals to health concerns and changes. Wearables is one example where devices using a related app can transmit necessary health information to parties quickly. SmartWatch from Smart Monitor helps patients with Epilepsy. Carunda24 assists with high blood pressure, and Biovotion is a beneficial wearable for diabetics.  Those at risk of stroke or diabetes have access to information that helps them quickly maintain their health needs. The broadened use of additional sensors for at-risk populations can provide tracking information and send alerts to medical providers that can be handled quickly.

The Introduction of Big Data Usage

Similar to the IoT (Internet of Things), ‘Big Data’ is a term heard in tech speak but oftentimes a proper definition and understanding of how it applies to the healthcare industry are elusive. Big data is about the increase in amount, variety and speed of information now available to organizations. Simply gathering big data is not enough. The future of big data in healthcare offers hospitals and provides the information they need, when they need it, in the forms they need. Bringing stored data together provides a picture that is more accurate and leads to improved healthcare. Electronic medical records already collect huge amounts of big data but only a fraction of those tables are relevant to current practices and corresponding analytics use cases. This is without the introduction of big data but genomics new use cases will drive entrance into big data.

The Level of Expertise Needed is Reduced

The availability of big data has made to more accessible to everyone and so the level of expertise needed to access and interpret data is reduced. In the not too distant past,  extensive technical expertise was required to use a big data distribution. Data scientists, generally Ph.Ds. with extensive experience, where necessary. These data scientists are able to analyze and interpret big data for understanding by healthcare professionals. Such individuals are expensive and few and far between, and usually working at research institutes thus unavailable for consultations. New changes make it easier to work with big data than before. There are changes to the tooling making it easier for those with less-specialized skill sets to manipulate big data. Big data is starting to use SQL for querying. Healthcare systems will find that query option useful when widely-implemented.

Heightened Security of Patient Data Implemented

HIPAA compliance is mandatory. HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The security for handling massive amounts of patient data is developing. When data scientists are the only ones with access to patient data, security was an afterthought. With broader access to more users, it becomes critical to safeguarding the security of patient data. The most secure options currently available from vendors have a well-supported, commercial distribution.

Predictive Analysis and Big Data

Predictive analysis will have a huge benefit from the widespread implementation and use of big data vendors and IoT health sensors. With patient health information being collected and analyzed, it will be possible for an organization to determine trends and health concerns faster than ever before. Patient status is given to hospitals and providers prior to patients walking into the office or ER, making it easier for healthcare organizations to prepare for epidemics or reach out to highly infectious individuals. Other common areas that can be addressed are predictions of missed appointments or noncompliance with medications.

“Data is the new science. Big Data holds the answers.” Pat Gelsinger – COO of EMC

Big data and its implications for the $3 trillion healthcare industry and patient populations are fascinating and worth considering. Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of Health Data Consortium, believes that having the power to access and analyze big data information on a large scale will improve our ability to predict and treat illnesses. Moving towards big data understanding and implementation now will help organizations make full use of the raw data to provide enhanced patient care as big data usage evolves.