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  • Writer's pictureSiri Kandi

Big Data: The Next Step in Healthcare

Written by Dhruv Balaji


What is Big Data?

Big data is how we analyze extremely large amounts of data to find specific insights about our data, and especially in recent years it has been used in a variety of new and creative ways, the medical field being one of the most prominent ones. Big data principles are used to analyze and store patient and doctor data alike, and has helped increase the efficiency of healthcare a lot.


How is Big Data Used in Healthcare?

By storing, updating, and analyzing patient and doctor data in real time, big data expands the possibilities of healthcare. For example, in some cases, doctors are able to predict certain aspects of a patient’s condition using big data architecture. They can also identify irregularities by comparing a patient’s data to the data of past patients. In terms of hospital lifestyle, doctors are required to visit certain patients less because of wearable devices that are able to track their data and relay it to the cloud for analysis and storage. Similarly, patients are able to avoid unnecessary Emergency Room visits because of analytics and big data. In the research domain, big data is helping scientists work towards finding the treatment for conditions such as cancer by looking for patterns in patient data. Finally, telemedicine, the remote/virtual diagnosis/treatment of patients, is extremely compatible with big data and the two have made the medical field extremely efficient in certain tasks, especially in our current situation.


Problems with Big Data in Healthcare

The main shortcoming of big data in healthcare is the issue of non uniform digitization and incompatible data systems. In order for big data to truly shine, all medical facilities are required to use data systems that are compatible with one another, which can be quite difficult to execute. In addition, using big data analytics for certain medical functions requires additional training for medical professionals.


Conclusion

Big data may have its problems, but it is clear that the positive impact it is making on the medical field significantly outweighs its flaws. As time passes and technology advances, hopefully big data in healthcare will be perfected so that we can save more lives and discover the unknown.


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