The healthcare industry is hot on the big data bandwagon, based on a recent list of key medical innovations presented by the Cleveland Clinic. #8 on the list was “Harnessing Big Data to Improve Healthcare” – this top 10 list included other obviously medical innovations such as catheter-based renal denervation to control resistant hypertension and implantable devices to treat complex brain aneurysms.
Of course, even the healthcare industry is recognizing the need to pull more information out of the ocean of data they have. In explaining why this ranked so high on their list, the Cleveland Clinic said:
The amount of data collected each day dwarfs human comprehension and even brings most computing programs to a quick standstill. It is estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created daily, so much that 90% of the data in the world has been created in the last two years. This is what’s called big data, and hospitals, medical centers, hospital systems, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies that comprise the trillion-dollar healthcare industry in this country are awash in it. Together, they easily amass terabytes and oftentimes petabytes of structured and unstructured data. Unfortunately, not enough of this deluge of big data sets has been systematically collected and stored, and therefore this valuable information has not been aggregated, analyzed, or made available in a format to be readily accessed to improve healthcare.