Do you know someone who always has the latest and greatest items off the market? Personally, I have found that many of those individuals don’t actually use a small portion of what the potential may be. However, I have experience loading so much information on a computer of other device that I have maxed out the memory, leaving me wondering why I didn’t invest in more memory. This is not too dissimilar to some of what is going on in many big businesses and industries: they may own software that is going highly unused while others bought what they needed at the time of purchase and didn’t plan for growth and are paying for piece-meal items to keep everything running.
One of the industries that cannot play a game of underused software or insufficient space is the healthcare industry. Especially in the high-demand for conformity and regulations mandated by the Affordable Care Act. A bare-bones description laid out for healthcare providers is that they must deliver better care at a lower cost. Having the right software and enough space to collect, maintain and analyze data is now a requisite. The solution is Healthcare Big Data Analytics. This may be a lot to digest in any sort of terminology, but it doesn’t make in any less essential to running a healthcare organization in this day and age.
Healthcare, we all understand, is a “maintaining and restoration of health by the treatment and prevention of disease…” We seek this usually from well-educated and regulated individuals who are trained and experienced to aid in this agenda.
Big Data is a lot further from a quickly understood or grasped term. It has been described more recently as the set of tools used to draw out information, to provide a better perception of inner workings of a business. In order to qualify under the parameters of Big Data, there are three defining characteristics known as the three V’s:
- volume – being received in the realm of peta- or exabytes
- velocity – faster than most databases are used to
- variety – structured or unstructured
Analytics is outlined to be the scrutinizing of raw data in order to find patterns or trends that produces data-driven decisions.
Overall, what you’re looking at is the a reformation to the healthcare community by taking advantage of all data being produced, and turning it into useable information that indicates where waste exists and ways to improve individual care. Again, this comes off as very simplistic, when in all reality it is anything but. When you think about all the data that is being generated and housed, you may become more aware of the complexities involved. The straightforward data is found in the general intake information such as name, address, height and weight. What if you were involved in an accident and required x-rays and an MRI? These images are far from letters and numbers loaded on a sheet, but physicians would be greatly informed if they could access this kind of record as they treat you. Also, having a documentation of prescriptions, allergies and past surgeries. The accumulation of data on an individual can be immense, but also a goldmine to discovering patterns that may help someone else down the road.
Healthcare Big Data Analytics involves the 3 V’s quite succinctly by, firstly, being one of the highest generating industries of data. The voluminous amounts of data being generated easily fall into the realm of Big Data. Velocity at which the data is being generated, stored and accessed can undoubtedly surpass basic databases that might be sufficient for other industries. And, the variety of data, as explained before, is anything but straightforward and unproblematic.
To be absolutely direct, the healthcare and other industries have not been able to tap the full resources capable with traditional databases, however, going back to my original point, sometimes you invest in something that you can grow into rather than finding the limits at an inopportune moment. Because we know that healthcare data is not going to be shrinking or fading as technological advances continue to push the limits of what physicians are able to do for the betterment of patients.
The analytics aspect of this all probably holds the most potential for progress and awareness. As more data is collected, the ability to interpret patterns becomes more concise. The data-driven decisions become more natural as verifiable trends are more evident. This serves the two purposes of improved care by finding and eliminating wasteful spending on behalf of the organization, and also provides things like real-time diagnoses and treatments and more meaningful patterns within healthcare for professionals to draw upon. Don’t discount what is in store for Healthcare Big Data Analytics in the future; you might be a beneficiary at any moment.