Why is Data Becoming So Important: A Real World Example

Healthcare is requiring larger amounts of data at a quicker rate than the industry has ever seen. The primary reason for this is quite obvious — the forms of technology that seem to be the technology of the future can only exist with vast amounts of data available. Artificial intelligence, blockchain, the internet of things, among others, either only exist when large amounts of data are present, or are only useful when they can act on data.

In the past, the collection of data — especially very specific data — was not nearly as much of a priority in hospitals and other medical institutions. Today, data collection systems have improved incredibly and companies exist that will reward institutions for data. However, the use for data is extending far beyond the hospital.

For example, in 2015 in Scott County Indiana, United States, HIV rapidly began to spread throughout the town, effecting an abnormally large percentage of the population. After the Center for Disease Control and Prevention was notified, they began a study that centered around the use of big data. The data they used — which was a collection of county data, internal data sets, and more — allowed them to trace the source of the HIV outbreak back to an opioid epidemic in the town.

Instances like this show just how much large and diverse data sets are going to be more and more important moving forward. Not only in clinical settings for determining accurate diagnoses, but also for public health purposes, criminal investigations, and many more. The possibilities for data collection and digestion are virtually limitless, and will help transform healthcare (as well as other industries) for the better.