For decades, medical professionals and other players in the healthcare industry have been generating massive piles of data. New tech-savvy tools that allow users to connect structured and unstructured data presents a unique way to derive meaning from this large source of data. As a result, the world of healthcare is becoming a data-driven business, with patients continuously demanding better, more personalized care.
More big data, more efficient healthcare
Perhaps the greatest benefit in today’s age of data-driven medicine is the ability to save lives. Patients are becoming more involved in their own care – from genome sequencing to building personalized health profiles. In turn, all of that big data helps to predict and to improve the speed and accuracy of diagnoses. Better yet, it has the ability to unlock the possibility of personalized treatment plans.
One such example is Sophia Genetics, a Swiss health tech company. The company created SOPHiA Artificial Intelligence, a global technology for genomic data analysis. SOPHiA reads and analyzes the genetic code of DNA for the purpose of predicting and diagnosing genetic diseases, including some cancers. The technology allows medical professionals to better and faster diagnose patients, as well as to personalize their treatment plans.
SOPHiA incessantly analyzes the gathered pool of DNA data sent from 170 hospitals around the world. In doing so, it gradually teaches itself not only to identify genetic diseases but also to accurately diagnose them. “This is the first time we have introduced machine learning into our operation. As it constantly learns, it will vastly improve the speed and precision with which we can identify potentially life-threatening diseases, and allow us to diagnose many times more patients than we were able to previously” said Jurgi Camblong, CEO and co-founder of Sophia Genetics.
The benefits of big data initiatives
Some of the others ways in which big data is supporting the healthcare industry include the following:
- High-risk patient care – When a large percentage of patients seek emergency care, healthcare costs and complications tend to rise. However, implementing a change can revolutionize the way in which hospitals work. For instance, with the digitalization of patient records, common patterns and trends are identified more quickly and efficiently. In turn, it is big data that makes the creation of patient-centric care programs much easier.
- Patient monitoring – An important objective of all healthcare institutions is identifying potential health problems before they turn into critical issues. Now, with big data, it is easier for such institutions to track various patient vitals and statistics. The monitored results enable medical professionals to prevent the development of certain conditions and to provide optimal care.
- Patient engagement – Patients are showing interest in wearables and various health tracking devices, which are bringing about positive changes in their lives. In understanding the importance of these devices, patients are becoming more engaged in their own care. Likewise, medical professionals’ jobs are becoming more simplified and the number of emergency cases are reducing.
- Reduction of costs – Quite often, a broad range of health institutions face financial waste, due to ineffective management of finances. With big data analysis, it is possible to resolve a loss in internal budgets, such as under or overbooking staff. Patients can also benefit from this change. They can have immediate access to medical staff, thereby reducing their wait time.
The salvation of healthcare
With the continuous rise in tech innovations, medical conditions could be more easily treatable and personalized solutions might be obtained. The challenge of big data is not in its storage and access, but rather in making this wealth of information usable. Nowadays, multiple organizations have directed their focus toward big data in improving patient outcomes and cutting healthcare costs. And fortunately, this instrumental approach is helping clinics, hospitals, and other similar institutions meet these goals in extraordinary ways.