Big Data and the Medical Revolution
“Please don’t die, Daddy,” I prayed.
My mother was driving, and I was in the backseat with him lying in my lap.
My father had come home early from work complaining that he was in pain from indigestion. Somehow, my mother sensed that it was something worse.
This was 1985 — before cellphones, medevac helicopters or emergency equipment.
By the time we got to the hospital, my father was going through a full-scale massive heart attack. One second, he was standing next to me at the reception to the emergency room … and the next they were wheeling him to an operating room.
Those were the days when doctors told you nothing but the bare minimum. We had no idea if he was going to live or die…
Today, paramedics would have treated my father in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. The attendants would have done a number of tests, saving precious seconds that can mean death or life when you’re critically ill.
Medicine and medical technology have gone through a revolution over the past three decades. There are now treatments such as ventricular assist devices, pacemakers, stents, internal defibrillators and minimally invasive robotic surgery for bypasses … and many new innovative drugs.
And yet, heart disease still accounts for one out of every four deaths in the United States, killing 610,000 people each year. And 735,000 people have a heart attack each year.
It’s clear that all these improvements haven’t stopped the incredible rate at which we die from heart disease.
But in the next few years, I believe we’re going to take another major step to changing this, and it’s going to come from the tech mega trend … the Internet of Things.
Mining Big Data
Soon every device used on heart patients will connect to the Internet. Pacemakers, defibrillators, stents, valves … will all be connected to the Internet. The industrial Internet of Things — where machines connect directly to servers and each other — is a subset of the larger Internet of Things. These devices will transmit data in real time that’ll be stored on a server.
All this collected data — which is called Big Data — contains information gold.
When someone suffers a heart attack, a sequence of data will be recorded. After the accumulation of thousands of these sequences, analysis of the data will begin, searching for patterns. These patterns represent information gold, enabling the medical industry to identify signs of a potentially acute cardiac event or effective treatments.
Through the use of Big Data, doctors and hospitals will be able to stay abreast of more effective treatments and improve efficiency that can not only save lives, but cut costs as well.
Now, my father survived the heart attack in 1985 and lived for another 15 years. He suffered another heart attack a few years later, and he died of heart failure in 2000. With today’s technology, he’d probably be alive today.
The Medical Revolution
To take advantage of this opportunity within the medical industry, you can look at companies such as Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), St. Jude Medical (NYSE: STJ) and Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX). All are working on ways to harvest data and analyze it for improved care.
And I believe their efforts in the realm of industrial Internet of Things are just one reason why the stocks of these companies have soared in 2016. Medtronic has climbed 14%. Boston Scientific has jumped 29%. St. Jude Medical has rallied 36%.
The industrial Internet of Things is going to generate big winners, which is why I’ve told my Profits Unlimited readers to invest in a blue-chip company that’s going to be the software leader in this trend. And next month, my readers are going to invest in what I believe is going to be another mega winner from the industrial Internet of Things.
Editor, Profits Unlimited