Big Data in Healthcare: Tapping New Insights To Save Lives

Kurt Walker

By Kurt Walker, editor and copywriter,

The healthcare industry is enormous. It’s one of the largest industries in the world. It also happens to be more complex than most industries. To begin with, the amounts of data collected are mind boggling. Around the world, 16,000 hospitals collect patient data while nearly 5 million patients use remote monitoring devices that collect even more data. The estimated compound growth rate of these patients that use such devices is 18 percent per year, according to an article from

Needless to say, there is rapid development and progress in the industry, with specialists looking for new solutions that are more effective every day. A lot of the time, the latest technology will be considered in the search for these solutions. In the case of big data, the most efficient solutions are the ones that make it possible to tap the data and use it to gain insights that will ultimately help improve the healthcare industry.

The impact of big data on healthcare is huge. Healthcare providers are doing their best to utilize it to improve health services, and some of the solutions are quite fascinating.

Healthcare for high-risk patients

Complications and costs in healthcare always go up when a large number of patients seek emergency care at the same time. The problem is that the outcomes do not improve as the costs rise, which means a change in the emergency department is in order.

The digitalization of health records is a good place to start. Patterns in patient conditions can be identified faster and more effectively. Health institutions that have used predictive analytics have seen significant reductions in their ER visits. The reason is that they were able to identify patients who repeatedly resorted to emergency services from them for crises. They were then able to identify the chronic issues they had and provided appropriate treatment plans to correct them. That led to a reduction in emergency visits.

With the help of big data, it is much easier to create a healthcare program centered on patients that checks for those with high-risk health issues and ensures more effective and appropriate treatment can be administered.

A reduction in costs

For many health institutions, financial waste is a serious problem that arises due to the inefficient management of financial resources. The reason so much money is lost is that staff are usually either under-booked or over-booked. Big data can be of help here as well.

Through the use of predictive analysis, the specific issue that causes financial waste can be identified and solved. It can also make the allocation of staff and assignment help much more efficient and improve the prediction of admission rates.

With more efficient staff allocation, hospitals will be better able to optimize their investments, reducing the amount of investment they have to put up whenever they have to. There can also be an advantage to the insurance industry, as they could back wearables and health trackers to ensure patients don’t stay in hospital longer than they have to.

There is also a benefit for patients, in the sense that they won’t have to endure long waiting periods before they can be served. They will have access to beds and staff immediately, and shortages in both will be alleviated by the system.

Health tracking for patients

One of the most important goals for the entire health industry is to be able to identify health issues before they turn into aggravating issues. Because the data in the system is either unstructured or not enough, it has made it a bit difficult for patients and healthcare providers to avoid situations that could have otherwise been prevented very easily. Big data can help by making patient health tracking more efficient and effective.

Through the use of distributed systems such as the internet of things, it will be easier for institutions to track the vitals and statistics of patients. From such things as their glucose levels and blood pressure to their sleeping habits and heart rates, the technology available today gives specialists the opportunity to monitor just about everything from their patients. The results from this monitoring process, which are obtained on a frequent basis, can then be used by healthcare institutions to help keep patients out of hospitals altogether.

The health statistics of a patient should be tracked from as early on as possible. This helps to prevent various diseases and conditions by providing the patient with the right care they need and at the right time. Many situations can be avoided which are unpleasant.

Better engagement with patients

With the help of big data and the analytics involved in the process, it is possible to improve patient engagement. The interest of consumers can be drawn toward a litany of health tracking devices and wearables through information being spread on such platforms as, which would help to improve the healthcare industry by making it a lot more efficient. Emergency cases would decrease, preventable situations would be prevented, and the management of healthcare resources would be improved.

By helping more patients to understand the importance of wearables and health trackers, the work of healthcare providers will be made easier, and a boost in engagement could be achieved.


The future is bright for big data, and all it takes is to forge ahead with this technology and keep gleaning insights from it that will help to take the healthcare industry to the next level.

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