How Big Data is Impacting Healthcare

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Big data has a role in saving lives. Of all the industries the collection and analysis of large amounts of data is transforming, healthcare stands at the forefront. The potential of big data to improve the healthcare system is virtually limitless.

The role of data collection and analysis in healthcare is constantly growing. Digital storage and consolidation techniques have allowed for representative data to be modeled and analyzed through easily interpreted software. This gives healthcare professionals the ability to streamline care.

The benefits of big data on the healthcare industry are numerous, from improving safety to making telehealth options possible. Here’s how big data is making an impact.

Improving Safety and Quality

More than ever, big data is being taken seriously in healthcare. There’s likely no limit to what big data can do. Access to a breadth of information and tools, preventative analytics, and better medicine increases the quality of care for everyone.

Here are just a few of the ways big data improves the safety and quality of healthcare:

Accessibility of Information

In the past, patient records were filed away in storage rooms and file cabinets. Now, the accessibility of digital storage has made possible the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by many healthcare facilities. EHRs allow for the consolidation of important information like symptoms and risk factors that can then be accessed and modeled in an accessible way. No more dusting off old documents.

This accessibility of healthcare data makes a big difference in what is possible for healthcare providers. Now, it is possible for doctors to diagnose problems even if they are unable to physically be with the patient. Electronic health records allow for healthcare providers to analyze symptoms against a wide database, plus the patient’s specific records, giving them a more accurate picture.

Safety of Patients and Information

Similarly through the use of big data, doctors can predict outcomes and preventative care needed to save lives. This is made possible through the use of big data via the Internet of Things (IoT) in partnership with smart devices. Users can wear these devices that track health data and in some cases report that data straight to a physician.

Through the enhanced abilities of both patients and doctors to monitor their health, big data makes a real difference in preventive medicine. Doctors can track risk factors and understand when a patient is in danger through the comparative analysis available to them. IoT and other monitoring and prescriptive tools can even make it easier for healthcare providers to reach out to patients for a check-up when a risk is identified.

Additionally, one of the benefits of big data is its ability to measure digital interference of data. Despite some concerns about the ethical use of digital data, your healthcare information can remain safe and private with the help of analytic tools. Big data analytics allows for the creation of systems that track, fight, and report any instances of a cyberattack or apparent misuse.

Better Treatment

With an incredible amount of data at their disposal, physicians are able to make diagnoses and create treatment plans without as much trial-and-error. Prescriptive tools can determine what the best drug or procedure will be given the patient’s symptoms and condition. Cross-references can be analyzed for accuracy of diagnosis, and the number of prescription errors can be reduced.

In the United States, between 7,000 and 9,000 people die each year from prescription errors. Big data has the potential to save a number of these lives and provide better care for all.

As big data use expands in the healthcare industry, we all stand to benefit, today and in the future, whether we visit the doctor physically or remotely.

Making Telemedicine Possible

In today’s world, the trend of healthcare shifts towards the digital. Telehealth and telemedicine options are becoming increasingly commonplace, and big data helps make that possible.

Telemedicine is the ability of a care provider to remotely reach, diagnose, and treat patients. While not every kind of medical procedure is possible over a video chat on a phone or computer, more and more providers are offering these remote options. For example, telemedicine allows for online eye exams, check-ups, counseling appoints, and so much more.

Additionally, telehealth saves money for both patients and healthcare facilities. Those living in rural areas far from a clinic won’t have to make a long drive into town, and clinics can cut time and resources spent in processing a patient through a facility. Patients can stay safe, comfortable, and at home, while remote solutions are determined.

Through IoT monitoring and large-scale prescriptive tools that only big data can create, physicians are able to treat patients at a distance like never before. With the concerns of a global pandemic, telemedicine is vital. Big data allows patients that might otherwise be inaccessible or at-risk to receive the care they need, making a big impact on the lives of millions.

Big data utilization in healthcare is essential, growing, and life-saving. From improving the safety and quality of care to making innovative care techniques like telemedicine possible, big data strategies leveraged for healthcare are worthwhile and important steps for the industry.\


Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but technology and digital marketing topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.

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