Big Data: Healthcare Prevention
This is the second in a series of five Healthcare Big Data blogs and its impact written by John Morton about Big data for Digital Salutem. The first is: Big Data: Challenge, or Opportunity for Healthcare?
The greatest challenge in healthcare is to understand the demand for healthcare. Too often health services have to react to a patient arriving. Then, through urgency and concern they must respond and provide decisions based on little information. Regular and /or continuous monitoring of a patient can help in two ways. Informing the patient and providing information that a health care professional (in the absence of no other information) may find useful.
People are more active in their care and wellbeing, their knowledge level of health, sickness and the impact of lifestyle choices on their health is better understood. Although some believe this is all new, the technology sensing, measurement and calibration has been available for professional athletes for some time. Now ease of use, reduced cost and availability of algorithms (often free) is leading to a more and more people monitoring, reviewing and assessing their health progress.
Commonly, smartphones are becoming the platform used to combine information, analyse it and present it. Often these smartphones are gateway to gather information from other smart devices like fitbit and others. As you visit your electronic store, retail stores and look on the internet there are vast array of cheap commercially available health care devices available.
These devices can be used for monitoring your vitals under stress, be weighing scales to determine your current BMI index and have the capacity to help track progress against a self defined, or prescribed healthcare plan. Even large corporates are seeking to include information for such things as medication dosage and frequency to assure that courses of treatment are taken as prescribed, are completed and that, certain drugs, are accounted for.
Similarly, monitoring can add value by meeting the needs for clinical demands for exercise, movement and show that a healthy systematic habit of self healthcare is being obtained.
Tracking, monitoring and analysing physical fitness has been with us for a number of years. Today applications and devices can be used to monitor long term conditions and symptons, providing new and valuable information as to the deterioration of a patient over one, two or more years. Here analytics and “small data” (patients own records) can be analysed to show changes in memory loss, increase in Asthma, the impact of changing amounts of drugs.
This type of information is very valuable. Insurance companies are providing rewards to those who can demonstrate achievements of goals keeping patients healthy and returning them to health. (e.g. Vitality Health provides rewards for staying healthy. The monitoring and surveillance being undertaken through creating a health record. )
This is the second of five blogs on Healthcare Big Data and its impact. The remaining will consider big data for:
3. Big Data: Healthcare Diagnosis
4. Big Data: Healthcare Treatment
5. Big Data: Healthcare Awareness