Instructor: Aleksi Aaltonen, Section 002

Big Data Rapidly Advancing Patient Care

Healthcare is one of society’s slowest moving fields. From drug approval to new techniques, the process of bringing an idea to fruition in the healthcare industry can take anywhere from a few years to decades. By integrating big data into health systems, we can continuously update our knowledge base  in order to speed up the process of integrating new knowledge into practice. Recent;y the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Learning Health Sciences has been using this concept and transforming biomedical knowledge into digital forms accessible to anyone. By creating these forms, the department has created a digital library that they call they Knowledge Grid which is capable of using mass amounts of information to generate patient-specific advice. While big data isn’t necessarily the first technological aspect you’d that would come to mind while thinking about the healthcare field, big data has a huge potential to improve the field. Considering the fact that healthcare providers are sitting on tons of personal health information for every patient they’ve ever had, if healthcare companies can properly utilize big data, the possible advancements in patient care are enormous.

One Response to Big Data Rapidly Advancing Patient Care

  • This is certainly true, but the privacy and data ownership issues are also significant. An interesting difference is to countries with public healthcare (e.g. most European countries) – if healthcare is provided as a public service, then the use of data could be legitimized as improvement of public service. However, in practice, I am not sure how advanced EU countries are in this sense.

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