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How to prepare for Big Data in Healthcare

What is Big Data technology?

big data in healtchare

Big data is the term used to describe high volumes of information, often analysed by computers, to establish patterns and trends.

In healthcare, Big Data technology is used to analyse vast amount of health records. This includes all of the facts and figures that reside in NHS records, as well as information from other health monitoring software and even iPhone apps.

This data is harnessed to assist healthcare professionals in making informed decisions on treatment. It will also work towards helping the NHS to streamline healthcare processes, reduce waste and positively affect patient outcomes.

After information is collated, trends can be identified and analysed. Then a strategy can be implemented to adapt resources and tactics to any upcoming changes in the environment such as disease outbreaks.

This can help our healthcare service as a whole to focus on prevention as opposed to treatment which is much less costly.

 How Big Data is used, processed and analysed

When a mass of data is collated, the most efficient way to process it is by using algorithms that categorise it and identify trends for you.

The rise of Big Data has created a new market for data processing companies to develop. This has also led to the rise of several software programmes and demand for quality data managers.

Big Data software-processing companies are now competing to provide you with the best analytics tools so that you are able to identify the key trends that you need to know about with ease.

Where did the concept of Big Data come from?

Data collection to aid organisational development has been around for thousands of years. Originally, it was introduced in Mesopotamia to track the growth of crops and livestock.

The term ‘Big Data’ however, has only become common terminology since 2005.

This was when Roger Mougalas from O’Reilly Media, used the term to describe an abundance of data that is near impossible to manage or process using traditional methods.

Since then, Big Data has grown and taken on a life of its own. Many organisations have tried to fill this gap in the market to help large institutions understand how to use this information to their advantage – But there is still work to do.

Many industries are still not benefitting from developments in Big Data systems, meaning that they are beginning to be outstretched by competitors and their business processes are fast becoming outdated.

Big Data in Healthcare

Technically minded individuals such as data managers are only just beginning to understand the extent that Big Data can influence the way that both UK businesses and healthcare services are run.

“Our overarching objective is that by 2020 we will have revolutionised the way technology, data and information are used to transform the delivery of England’s health and social care services.” – NHS Digital

However, for the less tech-savvy people out there, there is a great degree of confusion as to how Big Data will affect us and what we need to do to get involved.

To ensure that this system works effectively for all, preparation and implementation plans need to be generated so that your organisation can adapt and take advantage of these exciting changes.

The easiest way to adapt to the future of your industry is to expand your knowledge and learn from those who have successfully managed to make Big Data work for them through innovation in data usage and analytics.

Over the coming years, Big Data, and how we use it, will be pivotal in how organisations process information and strive forward within their chosen industry. Don’t get left behind!

Learn about what you can do to get involved in Big Data implementation here

How is Big Data useful to healthcare services?

Big data collation allows healthcare professionals to look at the big picture in more depth.

Assessing data in this way allows healthcare services to make decisions based on relevant statistics. This will allow them to predict outcomes and identify trends so that they can act fast to treat or prevent diseases and infections.

Better access to this data also allows our health services to tighten their networks as they can more readily share information. This enables doctors to treat patients faster as they do not have to wait for updates from other services that are involved in the treatment journey of a patient.

This saves time and cuts costs as others will be able to access information, test results, allergies, health history and more to make the best decision possible regarding the needs of the patient first time.

Furthermore, with all of this information available, diagnosis is likely to become a lot more accurate, which means that the waste of time and resources created by a misdiagnosis can be reduced which will also save our NHS a lot of money.

What skills are in demand to make Big Data work for health services?

Healthcare services in the UK notoriously fall short when it comes to staying up to date with the latest technological developments. However, strained budgets mean that services are now being forced to focus on cost and waste reduction.

This means advancements from Big Data are being welcomed with open arms!

Application of Big Data systems, like any other large institutional change, also means that resourcing the right skills to make it work is necessary. This has led to a rise in demand for data analysts and consultants as well as more technically minded healthcare professionals who are able to analyse findings.

Skill shortages in these areas are becoming a problem so it would be a smart move to begin upskilling existing staff as well as attracting people into these job markets. Doing this effectively will require access to knowledge and training about Big Data.

Many educational institutions are already working towards creating opportunities for individuals and organisation to get involved in this by launching events and training courses to help services cope with the transition.

How to prepare your healthcare service for Big Data

At Salford ONECPD, we always recommend approaching big changes from an informed perspective. This is why we have already begun to tackle the problems that come alongside the implementation of Big Data systems.

We have already launched an Annual Big Data Conference as well as training courses that can help you adapt to change by capturing the skills that you need to make a difference.

All that you need to do is get involved – You can enquire online here.


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