Tag Archives: big data

Big Data & Analytics


Did you know that we are already using big data (extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions) to help with Parkinson’s disease (Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research) and to help the first responders to arrive on the scene earlier than previously experienced (Jersey City’s Medical EMS)? It’s true. (reference here)

I’ve also talked about big data in previous posts:

Data & Big Brother in Healthcare

How Well Will Wearables and mHealth apps Work with the Individual

So what is happening with our data? It is being evaluated to determine the care level of the patient. Or, in other words, we are analyzing the data from both clinical and claims systems to identify patient health status, compliance with physician orders and gaps in care that may be needed proactively for the patient.

This collection of data is being used by insurers and clinicians for the purpose of making the care of the patient more effective, efficient and comprehensive. It is also being used by the more commercial side of the healthcare business, such as pharmaceutical companies evaluating the use of their drugs with claims data on prescriptions filled, but with this use the patient information is not part of the package that the commercial side provides.

What does this mean for the general public? Well, a couple of things. For the individual it helps them to manage their health and diseases and to proactively ensure that they are progressing in a positive direction for a healthy life. For the public it means that we now have the ability to see what the community might need to make it healthier and to identify the potential for commonalities of disease in the community.

We are moving toward an industry that can have the tools to make us healthier as individuals and a community. This quote from David Richards (in the first article link above) sums it up:

…future breakthroughs may have less to do with chance discovery than the systematic analyses of existing data. And while these are the early days of data-driven hospitals, the writing is on the wall for healthcare as we know it.

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Data & Big Brother in healthcare


I happened across an article on data and the Big Brother effect which included data in healthcare. I’m a bit perplexed, surprised and honestly a teeny bit worried. We know that they get data on what we watch on TV. We know that they can track trending health issues using Twitter. We know that health insurance claim information has been tracked and some allegations have been made that it has/could be used against the patient in regard to cost/deductibles and even the ability to obtain coverage. My mother has had issues with this as she has what is called a pre-existing condition in the insurance world – meaning that she had a medical condition before purchasing the insurance so they won’t pay for anything to do with continued treatment.

Now, according the article, even more data is currently being mined and applied to managing/tracking the health of populations.Honestly, I was a bit shocked as to what data they were using.

 

According to report authors Pam Dixon and Robert Gellman, these include: retailer databases, financial sector non-credit information, commercial data brokers, multichannel direct response, online surveys, catalog and phone orders, warranty card registrations, Internet sweepstakes, retailer loyalty cards, lifestyle information gathered from fitness and wellness centers, and non-profit organization member or donor lists.

 

LexisNexis is one of the largest data mining companies out there. They reportedly are using court records and housing information to assist with population health management. I am puzzled by how this information could be used for that purpose. What data or information specifically are they using?

If we start using social media data – and I have to wonder what source(s) they might be tapping for this collection – then they might find out information that isn’t shared with providers of health care – more along the line of their daily habits. Do they party/drink, go skydiving, drive cars too fast…

What are your thoughts on this subject?


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