As the availability of big data grows across the globe, the healthcare sector is not far behind in making the most of the opportunities this presents for the industry. Better patient records, faster customer response times, and a technology-centric approach to predicting treatment options are all some of the new paths that have opened up as a result of this. Let’s take a deeper dive into how all this has impacted healthcare and also the challenges it’s brought with it.
Why The Healthcare Industry Needs Big Data
- Healthcare costs are on the rise: Several studies conducted have shown that healthcare costs are rising at a much higher rate as compared to income/inflation levels in India. This drastic increase in costs is expected to put more than 5.5 crore people below the poverty line. The Government has taken on initiatives to make public healthcare both more accessible and affordable, but the impact of these is yet to be evaluated.
- Decision-making is becoming more evidence-based: Having access to large chunks of information records and patient data, physicians and doctors will be able to provide treatments that are more evidence-based than we’ve seen in the past.
Challenges Of The Big Data Shift
- Capturing the data accurately: This is more of a general problem we’ve seen as big data grows across all sectors. Incorrect records are becoming more commonplace and harder to detect. Especially in healthcare, this problem can lead to severe consequences such as incorrect diagnosis and improper treatments.
- Data storage challenges and costs: With big data comes a bigger cost of storing that data. And in the early stages, before you begin to actually see revenue being generated from this analytics, your costs can outweigh your revenue. Moreover, healthcare providers are having to resort to cloud-based storage solutions, and this brings in another challenge altogether: security.
- Maintaining data security: With the rising number of reported cases of data breaches, phishing attacks, and ransomware cases, healthcare is often one of the most targeted sectors. Having a plan in place to secure the data being collected and maintained is a challenge that companies need to give attention to.