Utilization of Big Data in the Health Sector – Big Data is a term that describes the large volumes of data, both structured and unstructured, that flood everyday businesses. But it is not the amount of data that is important.
It’s what the organization does with the data that matters. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.
The concept of Big Data has been around for many years; Most organizations now understand that if they capture all the data flowing into their business, they can apply analytics and derive significant value from that data. However, the new benefits brought by big data analysis are speed and efficiency.
The Importance of Big Data
- Cost reduction. Big data technologies like Hadoop and cloud-based analytics bring significant cost advantages when it comes to storing large amounts of data, plus they can identify more efficient ways of doing business.
- Faster, better decision making. With the speed of Hadoop and in-memory analytics, combined with the ability to analyze new data sources, companies can analyze information immediately and make decisions based on what they have learned.
- New products and services. With the ability to measure customer needs and satisfaction through analytics comes the power to deliver what customers want.
Application of Big Data in the Health Sector
1. Hadoop Technology for Monitoring Patient Vital Conditions
Several hospitals around the world have used Hadoop to help their staff work efficiently with Big Data.
Without Hadoop, it would be nearly impossible for most healthcare systems to analyze unstructured data.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta cares for more than 6,200 children in their ICU units. The average duration of stay in the Pediatric ICU varies from one month to one year. (Big Data in the Health Sector)
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta uses bedside sensors that help them continuously track patient vitals such as blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.
This sensor produces very large amounts of data, and the old system was unable to store this data for more than 3 days because of storage costs.
Even though this hospital needs to store these vital signs for analysis. If there is a change in pattern, there needs to be an alert for the team of doctors and other assistants.
The system was successfully implemented using Hadoop ecosystem components. The goal: reduce ER visits and hospitalizations for asthma-related events in children.
2. Valence health: improving service quality and reimbursements
Valence health uses Hadoop to build a data lake which is the main store of company data. Valence processes 3000 inbound data feeds with 45 types of data every day.
This critical data includes lab test results, medical record data, doctor’s prescriptions, immunizations, medications, claims and payments, as well as claims from doctors and hospitals, which are used to inform decisions about increasing both income and reimbursement.
The rapid growth in the number of clients and the associated increase in data volumes increasingly strain existing infrastructure.
Before using big data, it took them up to 22 hours to process 20 million laboratory data records. (Big Data in the Health Sector)
The use of big data cuts cycle times from 22 hours to 20 minutes, while using much less hardware. Valence Health is also able to handle customer requests that were previously difficult to resolve.
3. Hadoop in Cancer Treatment and Genomics
One of the biggest reasons why cancer has not been eradicated until now is because cancer mutates in different patterns and reacts in different ways based on a person’s genetic makeup.
Therefore, researchers in the field of oncology state that to cure cancer, patients need to be given treatment tailored to the type of cancer based on each patient’s genetics.
4. UnitedHealthcare: Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
Currently at least 10% of Health insurance payments are related to fraudulent claims. Worldwide this case is estimated to be worth billions of dollars.
False claims are not a new problem, but the complexity of insurance fraud appears to be increasing exponentially making it difficult for health insurance companies to deal with it.
UnitedHealthCare is an insurance company that provides health benefits and services to nearly 51 million people. This company collaborates with more than 850,000 health workers and around 6,100 hospitals throughout the country.
Their Payment Integrity group/payment integrity division has a duty to ensure that claims are paid correctly and on time.
5. Liaison Technologies: Streaming System of Records for Healthcare
Liaison Technologies provides cloud-based solutions to help organizations integrate, manage and secure data across the enterprise.
One of the vertical solutions they provide is for the health and life sciences industry, which must address two challenges: meeting HIPAA requirements and addressing the growth in data formats and representation.