Technology is revolutionizing the healthcare industry. The digitization and the information revolution have shifted the understanding and the way of treating a disease. However, one of the main limitations of medicine today is the understanding of the biology of disease.
The increasing digitization of the healthcare sector means that organizations often add terabytes of patient data to data centres annually. The healthcare industry produces the most amount of complex and voluminous data that can provide precious insights to improve the quality of human lives. There is no denying that big data has emerged as a big game changer in most of the industries and it can potentially assist the healthcare industry to evolve to a new level.
Role of Big Data Analytics
80% of all healthcare information is unstructured data which is so vast and complex that it needs specialized methods and tools to make meaningful use of the data. Some of the potential roles of Big Data in the healthcare industry are:
Improving Overall Population Health
Big data analytics can play a vital role in the medicine and the pharmaceutical industry by building better health profiles and better predictive models around individual patients helping better diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Big data can help in aggregating more and more information about a disease, ranging from the DNA, metabolites and proteins to cells, tissues, organs, organisms, and ecosystems. The aggregated insights can help to drive demonstrated clinical improvements while rendering the ability to understand comparative effectiveness thereby improving the overall health conditions of a population.
Reducing Healthcare Costs
Big Data is enabling the healthcare industry to reduce the per-capita cost of healthcare by reducing avoidable overuse of resources. Health Insurance enterprises are moving away from fee-for-service compensation model to value based data-driven incentives that reward high-quality, cost-effective patient care and exhibit sensible use of electronic health records.
Big Data can help reduce the cost of fraud, waste, and abuse in the healthcare industry by analyzing large unstructured datasets of historical claims and identifying the fraud much before disbursing the resources.
Engaging patients as consumers
As information becomes increasingly available, patients are taking an active interest in their healthcare choices. For beginners, patients have become keener to evaluate services using information from the Web and other online channels. This highlights the importance of using analytics for risk-adjustment to provide the consumer with the accurate information to make informed decisions. With increased information, patients are more engaged in their own treatments. They tend to play a role in collecting and sharing their own healthcare data with providers, which enables doctors to get access to the current state of the patient’s health. This also allows for proactive analysis, based on which doctors can adjust the treatment and prevent potential problems.
The ability to capture, store, and share huge amounts of electronic healthcare data, along with advances in technology allowing the storage and rapid processing of big data on commodity hardware are transforming the healthcare industry by reducing costs and improving outcomes. Many healthcare organizations have adopted to build parallel data warehouses using Microsoft APS Appliance along with Hortonworks Hadoop Cluster. A large amount of data gathered from different sources drives the best practices for today, and will help healthcare providers identify trends to achieve the triple aim of improving the patient experience, improving overall population health and reducing the per-capita cost of healthcare.