News Feature | November 2, 2015

How Big Data Is Helping Healthcare

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Look For Big Data Opportunities In Healthcare IT

Effective use of Big Data could add $300 million annually to the healthcare industry.

Big Data has had a significant impact on every industry, including healthcare, and leveraging that vast store of information could help make healthcare more efficient, effective, and personal. It also has the potential to add as much as $300 million annually to the healthcare industry, according to an Evariant infographic.

Health IT Outcomes highlighted Big Data’s impact in healthcare to date, writing, “As the amount of digital patient data grows exponentially, healthcare providers are seeking new methods of leveraging the power of Big Data to improve decision making and generate better patient outcomes.”

A U.S. News and World Report article, How Big Data is Driving the Customization of Health Care, also explored Big Data’s transformative potential in the healthcare space with authors writing, “In conjunction with mobility, Big Data is changing the way patients engage with their doctors and experience their treatment.”

In 2015, the approximate amount of data created in just 48 hours surpasses the total amount of data generated from the beginning of history until 2003, meaning the volume of data is increasing exponentially. This is creating a need for focused analytics which can process that data efficiently and effectively to improve profits and decrease waste for hospitals and healthcare organizations.

As Evariant notes, we now have access to algorithms that can analyze Big Data to predict epidemics with 70-90 percent accuracy, an important step in population health management. Big Data can also be leveraged to cure diseases, improve quality of life, increase preventive care, spot warning signs earlier, and begin preventive care sooner.

“Data and technology are defining the leaders in healthcare. Industry leaders are using these two tools to achieve accelerated growth in business, profits, efficiency, patient care, and other areas,” according to Evariant.

In just one example of how healthcare is benefitting from Big Data analytics, one hospital saved an estimated $850,000 in overtime costs as a result of real-time staffing adjustments made through data analytics. When Big Data is put to use, data becomes actionable and increases intelligent decisions hospital-wide, including disease management, quality assurance, performance reporting, discharge planning, and hospital operations. Data analytics can also help predict readmissions rates and enables more efficient use and planning of resources.