Big Data and the Future of Healthcare

Accessible introduction transcript…

  • Every day technology makes new things possible, and some predict that it’s just a matter of time until technology completely revolutionizes healthcare.
  • Some believe that medical diagnosis, general patient care, and medical practices are more expensive and inferior than they need to be.
  • The problem with health care is that it’s often the practice of medicine, rather than the science of medicine, as most medical decisions are simply based on tradition, a doctor’s limited medical knowledge, and the patient’s known symptoms and medical history.
  • The result? Three doctors could diagnose a problem three different ways. This can be a serious issue.
  • Over 40,000 patients die in the ICU in the U.S. each year due to misdiagnosis.
  • The solution? Big Data. Some believe medicine can become more of a science, rather than practice, by relying on technology.


INFOGRAPHIC: Big Data and the Future of Healthcare (transcript follows)

Accessible transcript continued…
  • Current technology + future smart devices = ideas. By combining the data from many current and future devices and technologies, healthcare providers can have a greater insight into medicine.
  • This technology could generate thousands of data points about a person’s health, which could lead to faster and cheaper correct diagnosis.
  • As this field continues to progress, data capture and exporation will become increasingly accurate and comprehensive.
  • This will ultimately reduce costs, reduce physician workloads, and improve patient care.
  • Technology may replace up to 80% of what doctors do. How?
  • Many of a doctors responsibilities, such as testing, checkups, diagnosis, behavior modification, and prescription, can be done better by sensors (passive and active data collection) and analytics.
  • Computers are better than doctors at (1) organizing and recalling data; (2) integrating and balancing considerations of patient symptoms, history, demeanor, environmental factors, and population management guidelines; and (3) having much lower error rates.
  • 91% accurate – Medical assistants using a dignostic knowledge system in clinical trials were 91% accurate without using labs, imaging or exams.
  • Examples of using Big Data in health care include…
    • Heart Health: A patient could use the AliveCor iPhone case to take an ECG every day for a year for less than $1 a test. This device would capture more information than the typical ECG at the doctor’s office; it would also cost less. The patient could then send those 365 “auto-diagnosed” ECGs to his doctor for less than the cost to have one done at the hospital.
    • Other examples: Technology like this may not only provide preventative care. Machine-learning software can also identify abnormalities and predict health issues. A CellScope iPhone attachment, for example, is ued for the imaging of skin moles, rashes and more. And Eyenetra is a mobile phone add-on device that allows users to test for nearsightedness, farightedness and astigmatism.
  • What does the Future have in store? As ideal as all of this sounds, technology hasn’t made it possible quite yet.
    • Over time, more and more data can be gathered to identify patterns and physiological interactions.
    • Doctors will learn to increasingly rely on technology and big data for triage, diagnosis and decision-making.
    • Consequently, doctors will become better at their jobs, health care costs will decrease, and patient can can improve.

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