How Big Data is Helping Healthcare Around The World

Big Data has changed the way we manage, analyze and leverage data in any industry. One of the most promising areas where big data can be applied to make a change in healthcare. Healthcare analytics have the potential to reduce costs of treatment, predict outbreaks of epidemics, avoid preventable diseases and improve the quality of life in general. Let us take a look at real-time applications of big data around the world.


Big data is helping to solve the staffing problem in a few hospitals in Paris. Four hospitals in Paris which are a part of the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris have been using data from a variety of sources to come up with daily and hourly predictions of how many patients are expected to be at each hospital. 10 years’ worth of hospital admissions records is the key data set used by the data scientists and crunched using time series analysis techniques. These analyses allowed the researchers to see relevant patterns in admission rates and they could then use machine learning to find the most accurate algorithms that predicted future admissions trends. The result? A web browser-based interface designed to be used by doctors, nurses and hospital administration staff – untrained in data science – to forecast visit and admission rates for the next 15 days. Extra staff can be drafted in when high numbers of visitors are expected, leading to reduced waiting times for patients and better quality of care.

Real-time alerting is another example of big data in healthcare. Clinical Decision Support (CDS) software analyzes medical data on the spot in the hospitals, and in turn, provide health practitioners with advice as they make prescriptive decisions. As the doctors want patients to stay away from hospitals to avoid costly in-house treatments, they are harnessing personal analytics devices as they have the potential to become part of a new healthcare delivery strategy. Wearables will collect patients’ health data continuously and send this data to the cloud and the information will also be accessed to the database that states the health of the general public. This will allow the doctors to compare this data in a socioeconomic context and modify the delivery strategies accordingly. Asthmapolis has started to use inhalers with GPS-enabled trackers in order to identify asthma trends both on an individual level and looking at larger populations. This data is being used in conjunction with data from the CDC in order to develop better treatment plans for asthmatics.

Keep watching this space for information on more such application of big data in healthcare.

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