Big data is all the data can be analysed to reveal patterns, trends and associations related to human behaviour and psychology. Its role in various industries, including healthcare, is greater today in the digital age.
For example, when a clinic or hospital shifts from paper to electronic health records, it saves a lot of time and money. It makes it easier for doctors to access and share the health records of their patients between departments. It also makes it easier for the patients to know details of their medical condition.
How can big data analysis improve healthcare?
Analysis of all this data can potentially save many lives, and crores of rupees, by identifying and predicting health trends and epidemics.
According to a recent McKinsey report, big data analytics has increased the contribution of the healthcare industry to the country’s GDP to 17.6%. Moreover, it also has the potential to save more than USD 300 billion. It helps doctors provide customised healthcare tips to their patients and provides easier access to health plans and insurance.
Big data in preventive medicine
One area where big data can significantly revolutionise healthcare is in preventive medicine. Wearable devices like smart watches and activity detectors monitor the wearer’s activity levels and informs them about the number of calories burned.
Healthcare professionals can use this data to predict if the patient’s health is likely to deteriorate. They can advice their patients on what their next health management move should be, thus preventing further diseases.
For example, these devices can be useful in monitoring cardiac patients after a heart attack, or help diabetics keep their sugar levels in control through diet and exercise tips.
Big data in tele-monitoring
Tele-monitoring is another area in healthcare where big data can be extremely helpful. Three markets that will benefit the most are health plans, self-insured employers and health systems. Virtual hospital visits to avail a health plan reduces the need to take leave from work for it. These virtual visits can be done anytime, from the comfort of one’s home.
Virtual doctor visits also reduce a patient’s exposure to pathogens while waiting in queue at the clinic.
Another advantage of tele-monitoring is that it lets a doctor meet, diagnose, and treat patients who are at different locations. So, experts in far off places can be consulted for difficult cases. What’s more, people in inaccessible areas can also be treated by efficient and qualified doctors.
Big cost for big data
Implementing big data can revolutionise the healthcare industry in general, and patient management in particular, quite effectively. However, implementing this infrastructure can be costly as it requires a team of professionals and IT systems, which can cost more than Rs. 1 crore.
These costs can be easily offset with a special loan against property for doctors. These loans provide you with pre-approved offers that help you get funds without the wait.
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