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Healthcare industry looks to patient data for emergency prevention

A convergence of events has positioned the healthcare industry so that it can leverage patient information to make discoveries that may revolutionize medical care in the future. When big data, healthcare reform and consumers' ready adoption of new technology are combined, they create a force that is expected to help doctors make smarter decisions in emergency circumstances. Troy Media reports that analytics are expected to give physicians better foresight into whether premature infants are susceptible to life-threatening diseases or if emergency responders are within range to swiftly reach individuals in emergency situations, assuming users also implement the appropriate data quality measures. 

For instance, IBM and Excel Medical Electronics (EME) recently collaborated with the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery with the goal of preventing life-threatening situations involving patients who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries. Rather than waiting for tell-tale signals from bedside monitors, nurses and physicians in the future may receive alerts when patients' vital signs indicate their condition is worsening, such as rising intracranial pressure. 

"The field of big data analytics is evolving to include new kinds of data from sources such as medical monitors, giving us insights into patients that weren't previously possible," said IBM's chief medical scientist Martin Kohn. "We believe that UCLA's promising research may one day transform the way that doctors and nurses interact with patients inside the neuro-intensive care unit."

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