Health care and Big Data

What’s the general impression of the public sector and health care? Stodgy. Buried in paperwork. Dull. Bureaucrats in cubicles and harried nurses walking around with reams of paper charts.

Behind the scenes, however, the health care industry and their counterparts in the public sector have been quietly launching a wave of technological innovation and gaining valuable insight along the way. Look no further than some of their ‘lessons learned’ articles, including this summary of a recent study in Health Affairs. The summary is well worth a read, as the lessons are broadly applicable no matter what industry you’re in:

  • Focus on acquiring the right data
  • Answer questions of general interest, not questions that show off the technology
  • Understand the data
  • Let the people who understand the data have access to it in any form

Accomplishing these goals, they found, required a broader and more sophisticated Hadoop infrastructure than they had anticipated.

Of course, this realization isn’t too much of a surprise here at WANdisco. One of the early adopters of Non-Stop Hadoop was UC Irvine Health, a leading research and clinical center in California. UC Irvine Health has been recognized as an innovation center, and is currently exploring new ways to use Big Data to improve the quality and indeed the entire philosophy of its care.

You may be thinking you’ve still got time to figure out a Big Data strategy. Real time analytics on Hadoop? Wiring multiple data centers into a logical data lake? Not quite ready for prime time? Before you prognosticate any further, give us a call. Even ‘stodgy’ industries are seeing Big Data’s disruption up close and personal.

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