- An analysis of big data can provide insights for improved decision-making and making strategic business moves
- Improved patient outcomes, managing mass diseases, and predictive analysis in healthcare are some of the applications of big data in healthcare
- More than 90% of Australian residents have a My Health Record, an electronic patient record system
Big data refers to huge, rapid, and complex data that is challenging or impossible to process using traditional methods. Accessing and storing large amounts of information for analytics has been around for a long time.
Organisations collect data from various sources, including transactions, smart (IoT) devices, industrial equipment, videos, images, audio, social media, etc., which makes it difficult to store and manage.
Despite its difficulty in managing, big data analysis can provide insights for improved decision-making and strategic business moves.
Big data in healthcare
Big data has changed the way of managing and analysing data across industries. The healthcare sector has also witnessed notable changes owing to data analytics.
With the help of data analytics, healthcare holds the potential to predict outbreaks of epidemics, reduces the cost of treatments, avoids preventable diseases, and improves the quality of life.
Utilising the right technology, data can be extracted from different sources in the healthcare industry.
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Scenario in Australia
Australia is advancing in data-driven health, with linked data enhancing healthcare effectiveness, quality and accessibility.
Australians are embracing advantages and potential of this transformation. With 44% of Australians strongly supporting it and another 46% partially supporting it, there is substantial public support for using My Health Record data for research.
My Health Record
Australia is rolling out a national electronic patient record system known as “My Health Record”. The Australian Digital Health Agency manages and maintains the system, and more than 90% of Australian residents have a My Health Record.
This platform will enable healthcare providers to implement safe and efficient digitally enabled clinical workflows as most of their patients will have their own shared digital health records.
Additionally, the secondary use of the data framework has also been developed to manage the use of the My Health Record data. Backed by patient consent, this will be utilised for research purposes. This is supervised by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Australia has the potential to provide an integrated, de-identified national dataset, a big data sandpit for developers to create digital health solutions. It has many other accessible big data sets, including the National Echocardiography Database of Australia (NEDA), the world's largest study of heart function, and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s POSSUMweb, a dysmorphology database.
Saving billion dollars in National Health Expenditure
Nowadays, a huge amount of patient data is available, which is changing the way of design and the delivery of healthcare. There are data sets from routine patient check-ups, wearable devices, medical claims, hospitals, and laboratories that can provide knowledge about health trends and patterns. This presents future scope, which has been impossible using traditional research methods.
According to The University of New South Wales (Sydney), it’s been projected that big data could reduce Australia’s national health expenditure by over AU$11 billion yearly.