Nov 25

Big Data and Healthcare

For centuries healthcare practitioners have primarily relied on a single source of information for the diagnosis and treatment of disease: the individual patient. This medical data has provided a foundation for the analysis of risk factors, disease susceptibility, early diagnosis and preventative measures.

Presently, the healthcare industry is in a state of transition. The greatest force behind this change is data. The growing supply of health-related information from various sources such as health wearables, on-demand testing, algorithms capable of identifying disease or better hospital software is assisting the medical industry in becoming more precision based. The opportunities to approach patient care in a manner that is preventative, predictive, personalized and precise is increasingly possible.

According to a recent study done by Research and Markets the volume of healthcare data accounted for over 700 exabytes in 2017 from 153 million in 2013 and is projected to grow to 2,314 exabytes by 2020.

However, leveraging this data to identify areas that can lead to significant cost reductions and actionable solutions may present technical challenges. An older study done by PR Newswire in 2010 found that the average American patient accumulates records from 18 different healthcare providers over their lifetime. This data can be in both structured and unstructured formats presenting initial obstacles for data analysis. There are also issues related to patient privacy and security regarding the sharing and review of their medical data.

These bottlenecks are not impossible to overcome. With the correct mixture of hardware, software and technical acumen these barriers can be easily overcome. Dell Technologies has helped healthcare and life sciences organizations for decades. For example, Dell EMC storage infrastructure is used by 65% of hospitals in the U.S. and more than 6,000 hospitals worldwide leverage Dell EMC solutions.

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