Harnessing the Potential of Big Data in Healthcare

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harnby Angela Guess

Rachel Delacour recently wrote in Datanami, “As the world’s population is living longer, treatment delivery models need to quickly evolve, and many of these changes are being driven by data. The focus now is on understanding as much about a patient as possible, hopefully picking up warning signs of serious illness at an early enough stage that treatment is easier and cheaper. But in order to harness the potential of big data, contributors will need to consent to sharing their data.”

Delacour goes on, “There is a huge opportunity in the healthcare market for better tools to leverage big data, but a lack of current use.  Beyond improving profits and cutting down on wasted overhead, big data in healthcare is being used to predict epidemics, cure disease, improve quality of life and avoid preventable illness.  We are already seeing a shift in attitudes in select areas of the healthcare market, but there are still some huge barriers that prevent big data from being used to the same extent it is in other industries.”

She continues, “One area that I’d like to highlight for improvement is the management, sharing, and leveraging of individual personal health data for the greater good. For example, there could be huge advancements in cracking the causes of cancer through the use of big data, but accessing that amount of information and detail could be an invasion of a patient’s right to privacy. There is still a lot of skepticism among the public about how their data is used and by whom, that would need to be addressed before progress could be made in this area.  As an industry, we need to focus on building people’s trust whilst highlighting the benefits proper data analytics could bring to turn the tide on these huge world issues.”

Read more here.

photo credit: Flickr/ Karen Roe

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