Helping Doctors Survive in a Big Data World

Helping Doctors Survive in a Big Data World
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With the advent of Big Data and the Internet of Things, doctors will be able to detect trends and patterns never before possible with smaller sets of data.

Dr. Denton, board-certified pediatrician and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, notes that it’s interesting that while computers have gotten better at storing and analyzing these vast amounts of data, humans haven’t. “In fact, ‘more’ often clogs our ability to discern and decide,” says Dr. Denton.

Having the right information can help us learn and make better decisions. “As our ability to access the abundance of clinical data grows, it is imperative that methods to organize and to visualize this information be in place so as not to overwhelm users: increasingly, users are faced with information overload,” say Alex A. T. Bui and William Hsu in Medical Imaging Informatics.

Visualizing Data

The way the data is presented can make a difference. Being able to visualize data can provide a turning point to finding new knowledge and insights about a patient’s diagnosis.

“Information presented within tables, although precise, fails to foster rapid interpretation of subtle trends, especially over a large number of data points,” according to Bui and Hsu. This is why the next level of graphical abstraction needs to be visualized to illustrate a comparative difference. Data visualization helps transform abstract data into a form that increases discovery and enhances cognition.

Using data visualizations improves the presentation of medical records, allowing subtle diagnostic aspects to be seen that would otherwise be hard to find. It does this while preventing data overload and simplifying diagnostic records.

Using Fast Data in Healthcare

“The main goals of health IT adoption are to achieve improved health and health care quality, safety, and communication among all members of the care team while decreasing costs and increasing value,” according to Office of the National Coordinator’s (ONC) new report.

“The ONC envisions that ‘Big Data’ will turn into ‘Fast Data’ which encourages preventative and predictive care. Patients will receive highly personalized treatments bolstered by real-time data feeds and deep integration across care settings and the community.”

Big Data and the Internet of Things will be a disruptive force. By embracing Fast Data, the medical community can improve quality of care and ultimately save lives.

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