CONTRIBUTION OF DATA IN HEALTHCARE SECTOR
Big Data is a huge volume of both structured and
unstructured data that
is so large and difficult to process using the traditional database and
software techniques. In the recent times Big
Data has been widely used in the Healthcare industry to predict and cure
diseases, to improve the health and quality of life, and to avoid preventable
deaths. As the world’s population continues to grow, the quality of life has
improved and the healthcare sectors has to transform themselves in order to adapt
to the newer models of treatment delivery.
Need for Big Data
patient centric services: Organizations always aims in providing
better user satisfaction. Big data could be very useful to the patients as they
do not need to carry all their health reports while they go for consultation as
these data could be digitized and stored in a thumb drive or any such devices.
In addition to this, the big data healthcare systems make the job of the doctor
too easier as they need not go through all medical records, but can request
only a summarized report of the patient’s health records using the analysis
tools. This saves time and effort of both the patient and the doctor
diseases earlier: If the health records of a person are
maintained, then it would be easy to judge his current health state and predict
any further medical complications that could be caused. So, the doctor would be
well aware of the diseases that may affect the person and therefore he can take
preventive actions by prescribing proper medication to the patient. This will
reduce the number of visits to the hospital. The doctors can also analyse the
previous symptoms of a person and based on the symptoms, he could predict and
prevent certain diseases.
customized treatment: After analysing certain effects of a
medicine in a patient’s body, further dosage can be altered. For example, the
blood pressure of a person is tracked for a certain period of time and dosage
of medicine is calculated for further treatment. This can also help the doctors
to treat other patients who show similar symptoms.
Reducing Hospital Readmissions: With the help of
the Electronic Health Records(EHR), doctors can identify the high risk
patients based on their past history, chart information, etc., the hospitals
can identify at-risk patients and provide the necessary care to reduce
Applications of Data in Healthcare
Electronic Health Records
Electronic Health Records are
records that contain the details of the patients in the digital format. Every patient has their own digital record which includes their
demographic, medical history, laboratory test results etc. and these records
could be shared via secure information systems and can be accessed
across multiple health care centres, personal trainers, etc. who will be able
to guide the patients based on the information present in the EHR. Doctors can make changes over time with no paperwork and no data
replication. Sharing data between physicians
and healthcare providers can reduce duplicate tests and improve patient care. EHRs can also trigger warnings and reminders when a patient has to get a
new lab test or track prescriptions to see if the patient has been following
Just Might Cure Cancer
Another good example of the use of big data in healthcare is the Cancer Moon-shot
program initiated by the US ex-President Barack Obama. This program came up
with the goal of accomplishing 10 years’ worth of progress towards curing
cancer in half that time. In the program, Medical researchers collect and analyse
the data on treatment plans and recovery rates of cancer patients in order to
find trends and treatments that have the highest rates of success in the real
world. And after the analysis, researchers can see things like how certain
mutations and cancer proteins interact with different treatments and find
trends that will lead to better patient outcomes.
This data also leads to unexpected benefits, such as finding that
Desipramine, which is an anti-depressant, has the ability to help cure certain
types of lung cancer.
However, in order to make these kinds of insights more available,
patient databases from different institutions such as hospitals, universities,
and non-profit organizations need to be linked up. Then, the researchers could
access certain records like the patient biopsy reports from other institutions.
Another potential use case would be genetically sequencing cancer tissue
samples from clinical trial patients and making these data available to the
wider cancer database.
But the issues relating to this are the Incompatible data systems i.e,
making the databases able to interface with each other is a hard task. Patient
confidentiality issues arise that arises with the differing laws between the
states. And also not all institutions will share these information as they have
put a lot of time and money into developing their own cancer database.
It provides medical assistance to the
patients who are in different locations just by examining the EHR of the
patient. Further, assistance can be provided by various communication means
like video chat, messages, over the telephone, etc.
It is used for primary consultations and initial diagnosis, remote
patient monitoring, and medical education for health professionals. Some more
specific uses include telesurgery – doctors can perform operations with the use
of robots and high-speed real-time data delivery without physically being in
the same location with a patient.
Clinicians use telemedicine to provide personalized treatment plans and
prevent hospitalization or re-admission. It allows clinicians to predict acute
medical events in advance and prevent deterioration of patient’s conditions.
By keeping patients away from hospitals, telemedicine helps to reduce
costs of healthcare and improve the quality of service. Patients can avoid
waiting lines and doctors don’t waste time for unnecessary consultations and
paperwork. Telemedicine also improves the availability of healthcare as
patients’ state can be monitored and consulted anywhere and anytime.
Wearable sensors and devices enhance the opportunity for physicians to
interact with patients in entirely new ways, making healthcare more convenient
and persistent. Real-time monitoring changes the view that face-to-face care is
not always a necessity. Today, a variety of devices and apps exist to monitor and
track every sort of patient behaviour like the blood pressure, pulse rates,
sugar levels, etc. Which can be stored and examined later by the physicians.
Many of these measurements require a follow-up visit with a physician. Other
smart devices can also detect if the medicines are being taken regularly at
home. If not, they can initiate a call or other contact from providers to get
patients properly medicated. The possibilities offered by the healthcare to
lower costs and improve patient care are almost limitless.