Big Data: Just the Medicine for the Region’s Healthcare Challenges
There’s no doubt that the region is facing big healthcare challenges – from rising rates of chronic disease to greater demand on healthcare systems from a growing and aging population. Luckily, big data has arrived, offering just the “medicine” the region needs to help address these challenges.
But what exactly is “big data?” PC Magazine defines it as “the massive amounts of data that collect over time that are difficult to analyze and handle using common database management tools,” adding that the challenge is “to derive meaningful information from data in petabyte (1,000 terabytes) and exabyte (1,000 petabytes) volumes.”
So how can big data help address healthcare challenges in this region? By helping sift through the massive amounts of data now being collected by healthcare providers, health systems, health ministries, individual practices and others, and then analyze it to find ways of doing things better and more cost effectively.
Caradigm, a 50-50 joint venture between GE Healthcare and Microsoft Corp., has recently launched in the region, and its business is all about big data. It provides tools and software that enables health systems and professionals to use near real-time, organization-wide intelligence to improve healthcare quality and the patient experience.
As GE explained when Caradigm launched in the region:
“Imagine a software platform that enables a healthcare system to identify a population of chronic disease patients; to develop standardized care plans; to track those patients; to help them self-manage their care and treatment; to enable clinicians to monitor their progress remotely and to proactively interact with the patients if there is a problem or if they are really doing well.”
In the context of rising healthcare costs and pressure on healthcare spend across the Middle East, such big data solutions could help governments and private players deliver significantly improved quality of care while also managing costs.
Looks like big data could be a big solution.