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Big Data in Healthcare

“Consumer data will be the biggest differentiator in the next two to three years. Whoever unlocks the reams of data and uses it strategically will win.”

– By Angela Ahrendts

The importance of data isn’t unknown to companies. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, highlighted the fact that there were 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every two days. So, you can imagine what a massive amount of data we are creating daily, only even if a person spends an hour on social media. This high volume of data is what is called Big Data in simple terms.

If you are wondering how big data is growing, take a look at these figures from MarketsAndMarkets. It has stated that the global big data market size is valued at USD 138.9 billion in 2020 and expected to reach USD 229.4 billion by 2025, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.6 percent during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to factors like companies taking more data-driven decisions, rising awareness of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices among businesses, and governments investing more to grow their digital economy.

This article explores the applications of big data, particularly in healthcare, and why taking a big data engineering course should be your next career move.

Applications of Big Data

Data can benefit virtually every industrial sector. The more data-driven initiatives a company takes, the better are its chances of offering best-in-class products and services taking care of all the customer needs. Here are some of the industrial sectors that can leverage Big Data analytics:

  • Banking and financial services

  • Communications, Advertising, and Entertainment sector

  • Retail

  • Manufacturing

  • Healthcare

  • E-commerce

  • Education

  • Insurance

There are many applications of big data you can observe these days. For example, stock markets regulators are using big data for finding illegal trading activities or for sentiment analysis. Banks are using big data for card fraud detection, risk analysis, and anti-money laundering. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart are analyzing customer data to give better product recommendations based on their past purchases and search history. Well, the list can go on.

Let us focus on how Big Data is helping in the field of healthcare.

Big Data in Healthcare

Though we don’t pay much attention, a lot of data related to patients is recorded by hospitals. Some of the sources of Big Data in healthcare include:

  • Electronic health records (EHR)

  • Medical imaging

  • Genomic sequencing

  • Pharmaceutical research

  • Generic databases

  • Wearable devices

  • Patient portals

Big data can be used to predict if there is an epidemic, curing diseases, understanding a patient’s medical history, avoid preventable fatalities and more. Moreover, the treatment for a patient will be simpler if his health data is collected and the detection of any serious illness is done early.

Big data has simplified the procedure of collecting, storing, and transferring a patient’s information. This results in answering the operational and clinical questions in real-time and making informed decisions. It can also help sharpen the understanding of the best practices associated with any disease, illness, or injury.

For example, today there are mobile applications that help you seek medical advice online. Smart devices like Fitbit or Samsung Gear Fit can track your pulse rate, the number of steps that you cover each day, and the number of calories burnt. Applications on iPad, iPhone, and Apple watch like HealthKit, CareKit, or ResearchKit allow patients to learn more about their treatment, doctors to view lab results and radiology images, as well as nurses to ensure safety when administering medication.

Hospitals are also using big data to reduce costs. Analytics is helping them identify patients with more than one chronic condition and intervene early at care homes and reducing the chances of visiting emergency departments. The better insights that doctors draw from big data analytics eliminates the guesswork involved in the treatment and results in lower costs.

Research is another area where big data can benefit a lot. For a long time, the integration of huge volumes of data has been challenging as it involved infinitely laborious computations. Big data has the potential to integrate and correlate such huge chunks of data automatically, allowing researchers to get faster insights.

Start a Career in Big Data

As you are now aware of how Big Data has penetrated the entire marketplace, it makes sense to know more about this technology. Gear up to learn about this exciting field by exploring the Big Data engineering courses. Today an online course is a way to go and if you are one such person who prefers learning through videos rather than books, these are the best to enhance your knowledge. Add learning Big Data to your bucket list and see your career advancing.

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