The use of big data in the health care industry

The health care industry is changing. Rapidly. Primarily due to technological advances, the face of health care is transforming forever. Data is more readily accessible, quickly exposing patterns in obesity rates or informing the public which medicines and treatments work most effectively for specific diseases. The same technological advances can even allow us to view which demographics of a given population are likely to fall prey to which disease. This ease of access to information allows consumers greater choice and independence in their health care options, whether based upon clinical trial matches or advised preventative measures to avoid illness. Think, for example, about women who opt for mastectomies as a result of establishing they carry the gene which causes breast cancer. This was unheard of until recently and now, technological advances have finally made this feat possible.

This increase in easily accessible health care information is fully utilised by the Registries for All interactive system, allowing users to contribute personal health information both discreetly and securely. This allows the public the chance to partake in ‘big data’ collection based solely on their preferences, sharing only as much information as they deem appropriate.

Through the Reg4All system, data is correlated and used to generate research questions and answer many other queries. The information collated can easily be used by clinicians looking to research effective treatments and, through this single accessible database, researchers will gain far greater insight that previously possible.

However, for all of the data collected to be fully effective, the system needs to be integrated with bigger clinical systems, linking patient data with clinical trial research. The Oracle Health Sciences Network could prove the best method of delivery, helping expand the remit of the Reg4All system to incorporate rare diseases and common diseases stratified by precision medicine.

 

 

Source: Forbes

Image: TNCC

Joao Beirao

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