Wednesday 30 November 2016
30 / 11 / 2016

Making sense of data overload in the healthcare industry

At a recent techUK Big Data roadshow at The Lowry in Manchester, Informed technical consultant Dan Rex joined other delegates to hear about the huge challenges confronting the healthcare industry in dealing with the ever growing volume of data it generates. In his latest blog, he explains more….

Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry Architect Mike Broomhead’s assertion that “The healthcare industry is dealing with a data overload,” accurately encapsulated the key theme of the roadshow.  With every member of the population expected to generate over 100 million gigabytes of data over their lifetime, the storage of this data isn't the challenge; how the healthcare industry goes about making sense of all this data is?

However, despite this huge volume of data, to say nothing of its complexity, diversity and sensitivity, there are now some great examples of how big data analytics are being used to improve outcomes whilst optimising resources within the healthcare industry. These may include use of similarity analytics to develop personalised predictive models capable of identifying the level of risk for an individual patient, leading to a more personalised approach; or development of innovative ways of displaying big data that can lead to an increased awareness of patterns and trends that translate into more effective treatment.

The good news is that with the range of tools and methodologies constantly evolving and growing, the healthcare industry is beginning to catch up with other sectors such as banking and retail that have been making use of big data for a while now.  Whilst the task may be daunting, there is much to be optimistic about, and has never been a more exciting time to be engaged in big data projects within the healthcare industry.