Big Data Applications in Healthcare

Big Data Applications in Healthcare

Jayanthi Ranjan (Institute of Management Technology, India)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9840-6.ch056


Big data is in every industry. It is being utilized in almost all business functions within these industries. Basically, it creates value by converting human decisions into transformed automated algorithms using various tools and techniques. In this chapter, the authors look towards big data analytics from the healthcare perspective. Healthcare involves the whole supply chain of industries from the pharmaceutical companies to the clinical research centres, from the hospitals to individual physicians, and anyone who is involved in the medical arena right from the supplier to the consumer (i.e. the patient). The authors explore the growth of big data analytics in the healthcare industry including its limitations and potential.
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Background: Big Data Analytics In Healthcare Industry

A few decades ago, the flow of information in the healthcare industry was relatively simple with minimal usage of technology. Nowadays, technology has become much more advanced, and the flow of information has become more complicated. Today, data mining and big data analytics is being used to manage inventories, develop new drugs, manage patient’s records, cost of medicines, and administer clinical trials. The methodologies involved in the data extraction and information retrieval process are the same as other sectors, but the usage and relevance of that data has changed to suit the needs of hospitals, pharmacy companies, healthcare organisations, medical research labs and drug trial clinics. Unfortunately, data collection methods have improved, but the techniques used to process it are still lagging behind (Ranjan, 2007).

Role of Big Data in Healthcare Sector

Big data is being actively used in the healthcare sector these days to change the way decisions are made. It is changing the entire healthcare ecosystem by providing cost-effective measures, better resources and measurable value around the globe. As per the KPMG (2012) report, 70% of the healthcare data is generated in Europe and North America and by 2015, world is expected to generate 20 Exabyte of healthcare data. Big data market in the healthcare sector has become so massive that in 2010, it contributed to 7% of the global GDP and reduced around 8% of the healthcare global expenditure by providing better solutions. Below figure shows various initiatives and developments that are taken by various agencies around the world, to revamp the healthcare sector using big data.

Chapter objectives include:

  • Differentiating hype about Big Data Analytics from fact and application

  • Discussing specific application to Healthcare

  • Outlining limitations and opportunities

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