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Gleaning Insights in Health Care Using Big Data

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 25 October 2012, 04:39 Hrs
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Bangalore: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famously quoted “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” Ask any CIO and he/she will let you know that this is easier said than done. It is becoming a most irksome task to collect data for timely analysis and at the same time ensure that the quality of data is maintained.
The new estimates by Gartner state that the worldwide expenditure on big data is growing and that by the end of this year, it will reach an epic figure of $28 billion. What does this mean for any non- IT company? Another more pressing question: Why is Big Data still considered to be most suitable only for the ‘big fishes’? Is this misconception going to change? The people dealing with data can expect to be bombarded with these questions.

The recession (which many thought to be the end of the economy as we know it) brought the need for enterprises to keep a competitive edge by any means possible. Mark Beyer, Research Vice President at Gartner stated, “By 2020, big data features and functionality will be non-differentiating and routinely expected from traditional enterprise vendors and part of their product offerings."

What is most interesting about Big Data is the variety of ways in which it is helping healthcare, pharmaceuticals, banking, advertising and all other domains to maintain their quality of service.

Arjit Sengupta from BeyondCore was one of the speakers in a recent O’Reilly Webinar which was about data science linked with healthcare. MedCityNews reported more on what Arjit had to say about actionable data. He spoke about how one of the company’s clients which was a healthcare system, dealt with a project which involved 9 million calculations. What did it look into? Something seemingly innocuous; length of the patient’s stay. Lucid, the company’s BI software was able to detect many key patterns. Take a look at 2 chief ones:

1. For the same surgery, patients in one hospital recovered two weeks earlier than those in another hospital.
2. Patients undergoing particular treatment and who were covered by a specific insurance company were staying 20 extra days.

Arjit said, “Most of the time, executives don’t have the information at their fingertips to identify these problems. They can’t collaborate within the organization to find the solutions.”
Findings such as these could make the world of difference for decision makers. This proves the theory that advanced analytics is possible for all domains. Healthcare, a field requiring constant upgrades in terms of qualitative care and data analysis could surely benefit from Big Data Analytics.

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