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Data quality concerns cast cloud over mobile movement

Organizations everywhere are hard at work trying to implement mobile devices into their data-driven initiatives. Especially in healthcare, as countless patients every day use tablets and smartphones to record updates on their health statuses and their treatments, the mobile realm is an important component of the analytics movement.

However, firms that seek to implement more mobile data often run into problems with data quality. Because so much mobile health information is recorded directly by patients, it's highly subject to human error. It can be catastrophic if healthcare providers act on inaccurate information, but it can also be costly and time-consuming to go back and correct the data they already have. Either way, firms are in trouble.

According to Out-Law.com, businesses need to develop products that can keep their medical records as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Matthew Godfrey-Faussett, technology law specialist at Pinsent Masons, told the news source that neglecting data quality can have adverse effects for health providers.

"There needs to be trust in the quality of the information, the security of any system that relies on biometrics to access the data and where the information is entirely up-to-date and accurate. There are obvious health dangers involved where patients are treated on the basis of historical, inaccurate or incomplete data," Godfrey-Faussett said.

Trouble with healthcare data quality can arise in a variety of ways. Health firms may encounter problems with people's contact information - if addresses are outdated, misspelled or just plain wrong, it will become difficult to keep in touch with people and gather relevant data from them. If patients provide inaccurate facts because they're misinformed about their medical histories, that's also a problem, as it can lead to healthcare providers taking tangible steps in the wrong direction.

Data quality is essential in every industry, but nowhere more so than in healthcare. Accurate data has the potential to save lives.