The use of big data in healthcare is expanding all the time due to new technologies and increasingly positive patient experiences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been particularly helpful at reducing the number of patients in emergency rooms and hospital beds. And as more and more hospitals go digital to facilitate telehealth, the boom in big data equipment and analysis is expected to continue.
Big Data in Healthcare Explained
Big data refers to the massive amount of data transmitted over internet networks, which healthcare professionals use to gather insights on the well-being of patients. For example, patients who wear IoT devices can be tracked at all times by sensors, and doctors can be alerted when unusual data enters the system. In addition, the information gathered from this data can also be shared with other medical professionals assisting with a patient’s care.
Through the use of big data, patient medical records become comprehensive over time. To ensure secure storage and efficient organization, the use of software is required. Analysis of the data can be accelerated with the use of digital tools.
Many healthcare organizations are in the process of transforming to complete digital infrastructures that will facilitate the collection of big data even more in the coming decade.
How Big Data Improves the Healthcare Industry
The market for big data analytics in the healthcare industry is expected to exceed $34 billion globally by 2022. The main drivers of this boom are wireless solutions that gather data from IoT devices and transmit the information to a database. Machine learning can then be applied to the data to help generate insightful reports.
Here are examples of how big data is currently improving the healthcare industry:
- Systematic Placement of Healthcare Information - With big data, information must be stored in a systematic way, allowing medical professionals to make better informed decisions about patients. This paradigm is helping doctors arrive at effective treatments faster.
- Modern Strategic Planning - Patient data can be used to strategically plan healthcare management. It allows the doctor to review data stored all in one place, instead of in various file storages spread throughout different hospital floors.
- Real-Time Alerts - Doctors will be notified with real-time alerts when wearables or other digital devices detect a problem with the patient that requires rapid treatment.
- Improved Patient Relations with Doctors - The more data that can be gathered about a patient, the more it helps a doctor understand the patient's condition and treatment needs. This knowledge helps create closer, more personal relationships between the doctor and patient, building loyalty and trust.
- Electronic Health Record (EHR) - EHR helps patients get easier access to their medical records, such as a history of their prescriptions. The EHR system of storing data is a major key to why big data is increasingly growing in the healthcare industry.
- Predictive Analytics - Using machine learning and expert analysis, medical practitioners now have easy ways to make predictions on the health risks of patients. This data is particularly useful for patients with complex health issues.
- Stronger Cybersecurity - Streamlining data helps prevent cybersecurity breaches. Some of the ways to build robust cybersecurity layers beyond antivirus software include the use of firewalls, encryption, and 24/7 network monitoring. Security officials will be notified when intruders enter the network.
- Reduction of Emergency Room Visits - By reducing the number of patients in emergency rooms, hospitals can lower the costs of healthcare for patients. And since doctors now have easier access to medical records, they can initiate treatment faster.
- Seamless Administrative Dashboard - Big data collection allows healthcare organizations to cut administrative waste, allowing doctors and nurses to have the opportunity to spend more time with their patients.
- Enhanced Care - Insights gathered using IoT and big data can ultimately lead to smarter, more personalized, and more efficient patient care.
The rise of big data in the healthcare industry is becoming increasingly more evident, as it provides advanced care solutions that ultimately lead to better doctor-patient relationships. The more that big data is embraced by hospitals, the better able they will be to enhance the level of care that they provide their patients.