The Big Data revolution in U.S. health care

Data Centers are a key component of public and private industry now and into the future. Understanding their pro’s and con’s is vital to their implentation success. – Larry

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Wall Street Journal

 

A number of factors, from the digitization of patient records to the continuing shift from fee-for-service to outcome-based compensation and its emphasis on evidence-based medicine, have provided the health industry incentive to compile and exchange information.

The industry today is positioned to catch up with sectors like retail and banking in the use of Big Data. But for Big Data to truly transform health care, a McKinsey report argues that the industry itself is going to have to heal thyself, taking a “more holistic, patient-centered approach to value, one that focuses equally on health-care spending and treatment outcomes.”

McKinsey outlines a “new value framework” of patient and provider best practices that, when combined with Big Data, can add up to tens or hundreds of billions annually in reduced health-care spending.

Recommending aspirin use to those deemed at risk for heart disease, for example, could save $30 billion. Of course, the most complex analytics in the world won’t help if people—caregivers and patients—aren’t willing to do a little changing. “All stakeholders must recognize the value of big data and be willing to act on its insights” the report concludes. “Patients will not benefit from research on exercise, for example, if they persist in their sedentary lifestyles. And physicians may not improve patient outcomes if they refuse to follow treatment protocols based on big data and instead rely solely on their own judgment.”

 

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