Big data analysis can drastically improve the way a healthcare system operates. The global market for Big Data, estimated at US$130.7 Billion in the year 2020, is expected to grow to $257.7 billion by 2027. Big data helps healthcare organizations to make advancements in medical research and better decisions, which leads to improved patient outcomes.
What is big data in healthcare?
Healthcare data and big data refer to the systemized collection and analysis of medical and clinical data of patients that are too large and complicated to be handled by traditional processing. In this case, such data is gathered and processed by data scientists and machine learning software tools.
The reason why interest in big data tools has grown amongst healthcare providers over the past couple of years is that health data itself has seen far more digitization than ever before with the use of electronic health records.
The challenge of processing and analyzing vast quantities of patient information that is unique in its variety shows the need for big data in the healthcare industry.
Medical records are just one example of patient data, as others include:
Other parameters that can be analyzed using data processing and data storage tools are ones on an institutional level that aim to improve the efficiency of healthcare providers themselves.
Waiting room time
Employee performance parameters
Supply chain parameters
All healthcare systems can benefit from big data in the industry. The examples given above are only a small part of all the possibilities data analytics can offer. Improving these small details of the whole infrastructure can lead to success for the entire industry.
How big data is vital to health services is by being able to address medical errors early on and prevent poor health outcomes on the side of healthcare professionals.
Every patient has unique manifestations of medical conditions, which require providers to deliver specific treatment for their health. Utilizing healthcare data can help with personalized treatment by allowing more biomedical data to be stored in clinical records.
By means of predictive analytics, healthcare providers can learn more about financial data and offer solutions for optimizing business goals and cutting costs for ineffective parts of the process, thus limiting healthcare expenses. Better financial management can help a medical institution to grow in the healthcare sector.
Applications and benefits of big data in healthcare
Big data processing is intended to gather massive amounts of health-related data. The data obtained is from all kinds of sources, such as clinical trials, electronic medical records, smart devices, etc. After that, AI technology paired with machine learning is applied to analyze big data sets and generate new treatment methods and practices.
The critical thing data analytics in healthcare can do for the industry is improve patient outcomes. By identifying common problems and practices, AI can determine necessary measures and treatment plans.
It can also help prevent further illness and escalation of diseases that can lead to pandemics. Access to public health surveillance and generating health statistics can help professionals make more informed decisions on health problems focusing on one or more patients.
Big Data has a massive impact on public health as well. Using big data to gather information on a global or local scale may lead to the correct implementation of public policies and practices.
Here are some of the use cases of Big Data that will define the future of healthcare:
Machine learning (ML) is an effective tool for healthcare analytics on the financial side of medical processes. An ML model may reduce the number of human errors and embezzlements by better-catching discrepancies and other small anomalies that may have otherwise been missed by the human eye.
A healthcare system that works with big data can also allow specialists to form better financial management plans and provide a better understanding of patient needs and what services may be best for them.
A major challenge for medical research in the healthcare industry is the lack of population health information and data sharing. Big Data solves this issue by generating massive amounts of valuable patient records and clinical data such as medical imaging, prescription histories, illness portfolios, etc.
With such information, healthcare providers can better assess risk factors, offer more focused treatment plans, and prescribe targeted medicine to individual patients.
Big Data can also contribute to telemedicine. Telehealth practices gather and process information from patients through electronic devices from afar. This way, medical professionals can use software tools to analyze patient data and diagnose health issues before they become serious problems, and contact patients to offer individual treatment plans.
This way, telehealth further enhances patient engagement in managing their health and being more involved in their treatments.
Given the mentioned challenges, healthcare providers should focus on finding a reliable IT partner that can fully utilize the capabilities of big data. With the right tools and expertise, big data can be a powerful asset in the healthcare industry and help to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.