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Healthcare industry to see big changes as a result of big data

Rachel Wheeler Archive
Big data has revolutionized the way many sectors are approaching their operations, according to Forbes. What started in the marketing industry as a novel way to reduce risks and bolster success is now paving an important pathway in healthcare that could lead to better patient outcomes.

The days of marketers waiting around to experience a "eureka moment" have largely passed, the source added, explaining that we are no longer in an era like that portrayed in Mad Men. Now, advertising dollars can be funneled directly into the campaigns and tactics that will elicit the highest return on investment. Companies know which those will be because they have the data on consumer behavior to back it up.

Healthcare industry investing in tools to support big data plans
That same practice is being applied in healthcare environments as more physicians and doctors invest in information technology (IT) tools to comply with the Health Information Technology for Clinical and Economic Health (HITECH) Act.

It's likely that the data they are working with will become bigger and faster as new technologies make it easy to track biological functions that were once difficult to measure. The New York Times reports that MC10, a tech company based in Boston, plans to release a stretchable electronics product that works like a temporary tattoo to monitor body temperature, hydration levels and heart rate, which can be analyzed to draw important correlations about healthcare patterns.

"Ultimately, we see ourselves as a part of the healthcare ecosystem," said Amar Kendale, MC10 vice president of market strategy and development, as quoted by the source. "Data will need to be shared seamlessly between customers, providers, and payers in order to reduce healthcare costs and simultaneously deliver the best possible care."

Analyzing data can offer insight into personalized patient care
Not only will advanced analytics capabilities enable practitioners to administer enhanced care, but the diagnoses and treatments can be tailored to each patient, Forbes points out. Using strategies similar to those now being used by marketing teams, healthcare professionals can harness the vast amount of client data, verify it for data quality and analyze it to learn what works for individual patients. That is, it can more accurate picture of the treatment options that will work for each individual, rather than providing care that works for most customers experiencing the same health ailments.