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The Major Role of Big Data in Health Tech 2021


The healthcare system aims to prevent, diagnose, and treat human health issues. The major elements of the healthcare system are:

  • healthcare facilities (hospitals and clinics),
  • healthcare professionals (nurses and physicians)
  • corporate management (financial aid)

The health professionals handle medical and clinical data (imaging and lab data), patients' medical history (prescriptions and diagnosis-related data), and personal information. Previously, handwritten prescriptions or notes, medical examination results were stored in files.

Recently, data collection has become an integral part of every organization. Big Data, in simple words, is the technology created to store, analyze and manage this bulk data. Big Data sources in healthcare include patient and hospital records, examination results, etc. Biomedical research also generates a good portion of Big Data pertaining to public healthcare.

Technological advances have helped us generate bulk data, which has become unmanageable with currently available technologies. Big Data comes to the rescue here as healthcare organizations produce tremendous amounts of data.

Big Data uses patient data to improve clinical outcomes, utilize operational data to boost workforce productivity, and use healthcare financial data to improve the revenue stream for a hospital or healthcare organization. The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and many investments are being made.

Big Data and analytic services help health practitioners for better diagnoses and treatments. For example, some rare diseases like Parkinson's need large amounts of supporting evidence and study data to confirm the diagnosis. Thus, better patient care is possible utilizing Big Data. It will also help accommodate employees in departments where there is a shortage or people are overburdened with work. By doing so, the workforce's productivity will be more efficient than being overworked and exhausted. Having Big Data in place will help the newly begun organizations manage their cost, security, and fraudulent cases.

Three Components of Big Data

Volume, velocity, and variety - the "Three Vs" of Big Data - are the foundation of Big Data. Volume implies the remarkable amount of data healthcare generates through apps, portals, websites, and electronic health records (EHRs). Velocity refers to the speed at which these data are being generated and processed. Variety confines the different numbers, types of data gathered to store.

Besides the three, there are two new Vs of Big Data: veracity and value. Value refers to the worth of the data collected. Veracity refers to the integrity or quality of data generated by healthcare institutions.

Influence of Big Data in Healthcare Industry

Cost reduction

Big Data will help healthcare institutions predict the confirmation bookings and manage their staff accordingly. This will reduce the investment to be made by the management.

Development in the healthcare sector

Big Data has helped the developing healthcare sector with the support framework to build its domain with ease. The data generated is stored and retrieved whenever required, and future planning can be done based on the analysis of these data.

Health tracking

Big Data helps track a patient's sleep, exercise, walking distance, heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, glucose monitors, etc. All these will help in better patient care and management; health practitioners will have a complete record of the patient's activity and provide treatment accordingly.

Helping high-risk patients

If all the hospital records are digitized, the data collected will be organized and can be retrieved at any time. It is an extraordinary method to check high-risk patients and provide them with customized care. Data collection and analysis are beneficial to know the body's response to specific treatments and drugs, and the treatment can be modified accordingly. This will ease down numerous discomfort in patients, especially those suffering from long-term/high-risk illnesses.

Eliminating human errors

Prescribing or dispensing wrong medication is very unfortunate in healthcare systems, as it can even lead to the death of the patients. Big Data is useful as the practitioners will have a record to refer to that is legible and clear. This tool benefits doctors who deal with numerous patient inflow in a day.

Basis of Big Data Being Important for Healthcare

Earlier, when data was handled manually, there were many issues like missing records and reimbursements, extra paperwork, mistakes in accounting, etc. Big Data can take care of all of that. Patient protection is the main goal of every healthcare institution. Effective patient data management will ensure that the patient's safety is ensured to an extent.

Discrepancies between the departments due to data mismatches and inaccuracies are prevalent in most healthcare organizations. Human errors are unavoidable when many patients rush to get treatment. Big Data can ensure that the data entered is precise, thus preventing financial loss and discrepancies.

Big Data has the potential of revolutionizing healthcare from top to bottom. Healthcare organizations must adopt Big Data practices to save on costs, build efficiency across departments, and provide better patient outcomes. Big Data will enable hospitals to provide more targeted healthcare for better results. For pharmaceutical companies, Big Data is a driving force that will help design innovative drugs and products. Overall, healthcare stakeholders can rely on Big Data and predictive analytics to tackle major issues like readmission rates, high-risk patient care, staffing issues, dosage errors, and much more.


The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digitalization of health, which will create a significant shift to consumer-focused healthcare. We are already seeing the move of the big tech companies into healthcare. It will require stakeholders in the healthcare community, i.e., providers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, government, and the scientific and research communities, to collaborate and build a smooth data collection system. They must build the technological infrastructure to merge the continuously increasing volume of healthcare data. Furthermore, they need to invest in human capital, i.e., IT experts, data scientists, data architects, and Big Data engineers, to guide us into this new and exciting human health and well-being sector.

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