Big data has the potential to transform, well, everything. The growing sum of information at our fingertips is being analyzed and used to do everything from predict crime to accelerate business growth. And now, innovative companies are using it to make health care better.
The growing amount of medical data holds the clues to predicting flu outbreaks, preventing diseases, cutting medical costs and improving overall patient care. Given all these promises, it’s no surprise that medical data is in the spotlight – attracting startups and investors looking to fuel data-driven health care. Venture capital funding for health care technology firms has increased 176 percent this year, with the majority of funding allocated to data analytics companies, according to Rock Health, a San Francisco–based seed funding firm.
With more and more information being gathered in the form of electronic health records and insurance claims, smart organizations are using it to personalize and enhance care. Likewise, consumers are turning to personal health tracking devices to take control of their own care. But as data continues to be produced and gathered how can organizations truly tap its potential to make health care better and capture the business opportunity?
It’s no surprise that MIT Technology Review’s recent report on data-driven health care cited that the biggest challenge is breaking down the silos of information to pull all the data together. Currently, medical data is held captive in multiple sources making it near impossible for businesses to get a singular, comprehensive view of what is going on. The majority of data-driven health care solutions offer Band-Aid solutions simply pulling data from one source, rather than all of the sources.
So where is all the data coming from? According to the MIT Technology Review report, today’s health care data lives in multiple buckets including data from sensors, public health records, electronic medical records, insurance claims, genomic data, family health history and mobile health apps. Getting the most valuable insights requires analyzing all of these layers to create actionable insights that patients, doctors, researchers and business users can understand.
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