The field is slowly maturing as industry-specific Big Data software and consulting services come to market, but there is still a long way to go before the market can be considered mature. Some things, like patient privacy issues, are still evolving but progress toward a solution is being made.
One aspect of the impact of Big Data is coming courtesy of a major change in how health care is done, and it pre-dates Big Data by a few years. The push toward Electronic Medical Records (EMR), which began around the turn of the century, is really starting to pay off in ways not expected at the time.
“That meant the amount of data grows exponentially. Now we’re at a state with a lot of data in the system. We’re able to make better decisions and make near real-time activities, whether it’s clinical or revenue, where in before could not do it,” said David Chou, CIO and CDO of Children's Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
When the market crashed in 2008, there was a big stimulus program with lots of incentives for hospitals to be electronic, said Chou. Health care it was on the receiving end of it and because of that, it brought in much more data. “Now we’re able to utilize the data to make better decision,” he said.
Healthcare Big Data AnalyticsAnalytics is being used in health care to help predict outcomes of actions taken by physicians. For example, what would be the outcome of a surgery for a condition, based on patient data points like age, relative health, existing conditions, and so forth.