Why healthcare needs big data and analytics

By | 4 minute read | July 29, 2020

The COVID-19 global pandemic has heightened the focus on collecting, analyzing, and leveraging big data to drive positive and lifesaving outcomes. Yet the volume, velocity, and variety of data generated by COVID-19 is too vast and complex to be analyzed by traditional means. A governed data lake, built to aggregate a variety of traditional structured data with semi-structured and unstructured data, can help.

Data scientists using a governed data lake can support real-time forecasts to arm government decision makers and healthcare professionals with data needed to help predict and contain the virus’s spread. Aggregating data and using the inputs from machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), data scientists can drive real-time testing results and more accurate contact tracing. Also, using better targeting can help proactively identify the need for isolation and shutdowns, even at the local and neighborhood level, mitigating the financial and social disruption of complete shutdowns.

Big data and healthcare beyond COVID-19

While COVID-19 is currently a major focus of healthcare, myriad additional areas require big data and analytics. Collecting, analyzing and managing data in healthcare drives a holistic view of patients, personalizes treatments, advances treatment methods, improves communication between doctors and patients and improves processes and costs.

Three key healthcare areas that benefit from big data analysis:

  • Direct patient care – Many patients today seek telehealth services due to lack of mobility, isolation, health concerns, complications during disasters or simple convenience. These services require the use of big data and analytics to aggregate and analyze electronic health records (EHR), external contextual data and physician’s observations. Big data can drive transformations in efficiency, quality of care and patient/provider engagement for telehealth services.
  • Patient experience – Our do-it-yourself society trends toward patient portals offering on-demand personal medical information, meaningful statistics and advice. When used in conjunction with the data from smart devices, patient portals can be potentially powerful tools to facilitate healthcare self-management. Real-time feedback from these devices is proving vital in monitoring at-risk individuals, allowing doctors, patients and caregivers to track various conditions and proactively predict life-threating situations.
  • Administrative, insurance and payment processes – Healthcare generates big data from many sources including electronic health records, medical images, patient portals, virtual assistants, genomic sequencing, medical devices and research. In addition, billing and insurance processes need to access data from payer and public records, government data and risk/fraud assessments. Technology that accesses external databases can streamline processes, reduce costs and minimize risk and fraud.

The data revolution in healthcare

Healthcare providers recognize the growing importance of open data and analytics to accelerate innovation and value. Allied Market Research notes The market for big data in healthcare is growing at a compound annual rate of 19.1% and is expected to reach more than $67 billion by 2025. 1

The research cites several key factors:

  • Rising demand for analytics solutions to aid population health management
  • A shift from a pay-for-service model to a value-based care model
  • Preference for cloud-based analytics solutions and emerging trends such as telehealth and innovation in genomics, based on a growing need for broad-based telehealth services coupled with the ability for patients to view and manage health records.

The blueprint for big data and healthcare with IBM and Cloudera

IBM and Cloudera provide the solutions, products, services and multi-vendor support needed to help leading healthcare organizations build, manage, govern, access and analyze data in a secure, governed data lake. Users can benefit from:

  • Faster ROI – End-to-end capabilities enable advanced analytics, machine learning and AI from data lakes and connected clouds to integrate with traditional infrastructures such as data warehouses or EHR systems.
  • Industry expertise – IBM and Cloudera are experienced in building an integrated vision to deliver specific opportunities for healthcare facilities, from a 360-degree profile of patients, to cybersecurity and compliance, to empowering innovation for research, telemedicine and other care priorities.
  • Security and governance – Leverage Cloudera’s Shared Data Experience to ensure that all data is always secure and governed, anywhere, from the edge to AI.
  • Speed to innovation – IBM and Cloudera together are the largest contributors to the open source community, ensuring increased availability and interoperability across all vendors.
  • One-stop support and single-pane-of-glass management – Reduce costs, eliminate finger-pointing and maximize availability and agility.
  • Freedom of choice – Enjoy the flexibility to modernize existing on-premises infrastructure as well as the ability to leverage next-generation hybrid and multi-cloud platforms.

The next step in healthier big data

Let IBM and Cloudera help you turn the big data at your fingertips into better health outcomes and happier patients.

Let IBM and Cloudera help you use big data to create better health outcomes for patients. Dive deeper into healthcare use cases in TechTarget’s recent paper or schedule a free one-on-one consultation with one of our experts on our website.

1 “Big Data Analytics in Healthcare Market Worth $67.82 Billion by 2025, Says AMR,” Allied Market Research, May 7, 2020

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