The Big Data Promise in Healthcare

By Healthcare Tech Outlook | Friday, February 15, 2019

Healthcare AnalyticsBig data companies combine information from a variety of sources to build knowledge, make better predictions, and provide customized services. However, big data was also criticized as an infringement of privacy, as being potentially discriminatory and just annoyed. The choice to analyze big data is partly ambiguous. The industry is at a crucial turning point where industry leaders can bring about significant changes, with an intimate understanding of systemic risks and power out of a unique position. Big data requires a new approach to ethics, health care, and health-related research-which are more and more involved or overlapping. These changes have already started to be evident through biomedicine, healthcare, and innovation; however, ‘big data’ research puts them at the center.

In the big data era, the industry is working to tackle the ethical issues of integrating patient information within the healthcare environment–although consensus on what constitutes reliable evidence will be the key challenge. Big data and data-intensive research approach quickly gain momentum in health and biomedical science, which can translate health from personal to the public at all, levels. However, the utilization of "big data" in medical research poses several ethical challenges.

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One key challenge is to reach a consensus on what constitutes reliable evidence across science disciplines and stakeholders. This consensus is a prerequisite before the appropriate governance is established to determine how and when the observational data can be used to analyze the community's research needs. To tackle these challenges, OHDSI has developed an open-science community that enables universities, industry, and governments throughout its international database network to collaborate to create and perform observational analyzes.

Enhanced access to real-world data can be used as the know-how to improve treatments and health systems. However, with more information available, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that this data is used, protected, and regulated ethically. Every segment of the health industry is predicted to be influenced by big data, allowing it to understand how desirable behavior, and to reduce unwanted behavior to a minimum. It is clear that the promise of big data in health care is immense, seeing how it has transformed IT for consumers.

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