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Is Patient Care Keeping Pace with Big Data's Expansion?

Despite an impressive 568% growth, is big healthcare data improving care or just adding complexity?

Dr. Ofer Markman
April 30, 2024

We’re witnessing a data explosion in healthcare and life sciences. However, this wealth of information at our fingertips may be both a boon and a challenge. On one hand, the big data market in healthcare is projected to soar to a staggering $70 billion (about $220 per person in the US) by 2025, marking a 568% growth in a decade. On the other hand, this rapid expansion isn’t without its hurdles. A significant shift is underway, with 70% of risk and compliance professionals transitioning from a checkbox approach to a more strategic one. But are we merely replacing one form of box-ticking with another in our efforts to tame big healthcare data?

Big Risks in Big Data

The ‘big’ in big data is truly big. Big Data in healthcare is not a simple matter of volume, but a complex web of diverse information types. This includes patient health records, medical images, research insights, operational and financial data. The management of this data is not a straightforward task, but a massive effort that requires not only robust infrastructure but also advanced techniques for data handling and analysis. However, the larger and more complex the data, the more challenges it presents, including ensuring data accuracy, organization, delivery, and retrieval. Therefore, while the mass of data in healthcare presents interesting opportunities, the size of this data introduces a whole new set of challenges.

While the management of healthcare data and the infrastructure challenges it presents are often viewed as separate issues, they are in fact deeply interconnected. The management of healthcare data is not merely about organizing and analyzing data, but also about addressing the significant infrastructure challenges that come with it. These include issues like data duplication, which results in inaccurate and incomplete health care member profiles, and the lack of interoperability among data resources for Electronic Health Records (EHRs), which is a major impediment to the exchange of health information.  

Furthermore, the areas that haven’t been addressed in the framework won’t have control in place to mitigate any risk outside the scope. Therefore, it’s crucial to view these issues as part of a larger, more complex problem that requires a comprehensive and integrated solution, rather than treating them as separate, isolated challenges

As our data balloons into petabytes, particularly with the uptick in unstructured data like MRIs and CT scans, we are faced with the daunting task of managing it effectively. This includes not only organizing medical data but also integrating it and enabling its analysis to make patient care more efficient, and derive insights that can improve medical outcomes, while protecting the privacy and security of the data.

Good Data Management = Better Patient Outcomes?

In the face of the healthcare data explosion, advancements are not limited to transforming data into insights, but are now also focused on ensuring that the data is accessible, manageable, and usable in a way that truly benefits patient care. Addressing infrastructure challenges, enhancing connectivity and bandwidth, and leveraging new data efficiency technologies are crucial steps in this process. So, the question remains: How does your organization ensure that its healthcare systems are equipped to handle this data mass and use it to truly enhance patient care?

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Dr. Ofer Markman

is Filo Systems' Co-founder and VP Business Development

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