Medicine doctor working with modern computer interface.Modern medical technologies concept

Bernard Marr, a bestselling author and keynote speaker, recently wrote an article “Big Data: A Game Changer in Healthcare.” In this article, Marr brings 4 top areas of healthcare to the surface and explains how the use of Big Data and Analytics are providing vital insight to the industry.

If there is anything that is certain in healthcare it is while finding a cure to a disease is important, finding a prevention to that disease holds a higher benefit. The phrase that Marr used, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, illustrates this perfectly. Smart devices such as Fitbit, Jawbone and smartphones are now able to collect real data that hold a higher value than many medical studies that are conducted. Many medical studies that are done rely on patient input, which in many cases can be altered depending on one’s mood and/or opinion. Smart devices track real actual data about a person such as heart rate, physical activity and others. It is all about finding the correlation between patient demographics, lifestyle and a disease. The data being collected is getting us there faster and more accurately.

Diagnosis is an important part of tying together all of this data and allowing it to flow between doctors, hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Critical software solutions are being developed that can quickly and effectively make diagnoses. They are based upon the patients and the real time data that is being collected. The days of paper medical records only being stored in patient’s folders at their doctor’s office are becoming obsolete.

Something that I found in Marr’s article to be game changing is the ability to provide treatment in a more effective way. Since data-sharing has become possible for things such as medical research, clinical trial studies, and current patient responses to medication, doctors have the latest and most accurate findings to prescribe proper treatment. Recently the drug Desipramine, known commonly as an anti-depressant, was discovered as having potential uses in the cure for types of lung cancer. These breakthroughs have been made possible because of the high volume of critical data and capability to share and analyze it quickly.

Typically follow up care involved instructions from your doctor and patients were to schedule a follow up appointment to see the effectiveness of the treatment. With today’s amount of Big Data and the ability to analyze and track patients behaviors, healthcare providers as well as family members can be alerted if patterns begin to change. This can decrease hospital readmission rates drastically.

It is no surprise that Marr chose this as a topic for his article. The healthcare industry is making leaps as a result of the developments in Big Data. As Marr says, “the potential to improve patient outcomes, understand disease and even cure cancer all seem just around the corner.”

Click here to read the full article.