Will Big Data change the way healthcare is delivered?

All indications are indicating the health care industry working as big data’s next big frontier, which could result in a more linked and total healthcare experience.

Healthcare has been generally delivered by one physician analyzing one client at a time, with whatever information has actually been provided at the moment of the consultation or session. So how can big data revolutionize the way your practice interacts with patients?

More Decisive Doctors

Big data can facilitate better clinical decision-making for physicians, seeing as it gives them access to a much larger volume of medical data. Not to mention, big data will help healthcare providers and other professionals at your practice make sense of amorphous medical journal data, x-ray images and doctor’s notes.

Imagine your practice as it is now, but with access to thousands of client records at your fingertips. This can enhance decisiveness, allowing you to foresee precursors to certain medical conditions, particularly when dealing with low frequency signs and symptoms and diagnoses.

Personalized Care

Naturally, this access to data means customized medication. The greater specificity of data enables your practice to zero in directly on a patient’s whole health history, without relying on hypotheticals or using other patients with similar conditions or prognoses as examples.

Big data enables a true departure from health care’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, allowing your practice to mold methods depending upon individual patient circumstances.

Keep in mind Watson?

In the extremely near future, computer systems like IBM’s Watson will help with the relationships in between humans and big data, simplifying pattern recognition within datasets and assisting in collaboration in every field.

A 2011 Tech Trends report by IBM subsidiary DeveloperWorks reveals Watson’s advanced data analytics capacities could revolutionize health care, according to data collected from 4,000 IT professionals from 93 countries and 25 industries. Data analytics will have a profound effect on health care moving forward as it stands for an important method to finally make sense of the volume of healthcare data.

Tech-Savvy Patients

Patients strapped with cellular phones, tablets and laptop computers might also speed things along. Ingenious companies like 23andMe, Fitbit and PatientsLikeMe are encouraging people to share their medical data, which would help move medical care along tremendously.

However, the secret is to get ordinary patients to share their medical information voluntarily. Considering patient privacy concerns, how can your practice incentivize voluntary disclosure of patient information in situations where benefits to the individual aren’t very clear?

Although this is a modern issue, it should be treated in the traditional, patient-doctor phase of treatment. Physicians are really prominent during the nuclear phase of this relationship, and explaining the benefits of data collection to their patients – particularly clients who trust your practice after years of sees– can help move big data initiatives along tremendously.

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