Back in 2011, Graham Hughes, chief medical officer for the SAS Center for Health Analytics and Insights, estimated that healthcare data had reached a size of around 150 Exabytes and was increasing at a rate of 1.2–2.4 Exabytes per year. By comparison, all words ever spoken by human beings worldwide would add up to around 5 Exabytes.
Big data has indeed arrived in healthcare, and it’s potential is enormous. Analyzing all that information could yield solutions for better health outcomes, increased inefficiency of the healthcare system, lower costs for patients and payors, and even higher profits for companies.
The question is, how do we get there? That’s where the Health Data Consortium comes in. This public-private partnership is working to make open health data available and to find ways to leverage it to improve health and healthcare.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is simply aggregating the many disparate sources of health data. The Health Data Consortium is working to solve that problem through its Health Data All Stars, a directory of health information from federal, state, and local levels. Another of the consortium’s programs, the Health Data Challenge Series, is spurring innovative solutions to problems such as how to increase adherence to chronic disease management plans. The group also offers a webinar series and annual conference to educate the healthcare industry on the possibilities and problems surrounding big data in healthcare and recognizes people who are making a difference through its Health Data Liberators Award.
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|Meet more agents of change in medtech at the MD&M East tradeshow and conference in New York City June 9–12, 2014.|
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