An estimated 2.8 zettabytes of total data was created in 2012, which is more than 50 percent of the 2011 total of 1.8ZB. Starting in 2015 global IP traffic will reach 1.0 zettabytes per year, bringing the monthly total to 83.8 exabytes. Data is being created by people and machines, and experts believe analyzing this information can solve many of the problems plaguing the society in which we live. The healthcare industry is facing a problem of managing and using the massive amounts of data it creates more effectively. Using cloud and Big Data can store the data and analyze the information to find solutions within it.
The data in healthcare accumulates at a very fast rate. A 3D MRI is around 150MB, and a 3D CT scan can be as high as 1GB and that’s just from single images. With tens of thousands of images taking place every day, it doesn't take long before the information starts overwhelming onsite IT infrastructures. That is why cloud has to be the first part of the solution for alleviating the pressure that healthcare organizations face. Storing the data in the cloud allows healthcare facilities a safe and secure platform for retrieving the data when it is needed, without the expense of maintaining it on site. It also gives healthcare IT the ability to increase efficiency by providing information on demand to multiple facilities without geographical limitations. This lets doctors and other professionals collaborate on making the correct diagnosis and prescribing the right course of treatment, which in turn reduces costs.
Big Data analytics is the second part of the solution for healthcare providers. According to a report by McKinsey & Company (News - Alert), if healthcare in the U.S. harnessed the potential of Big Data the sector could create $300 billion in value.
Healthcare organizations appreciate the value of the data they have and continue to create every day; and they know future innovations in pharmaceuticals, research, and treatments are going to come from analyzing this data. This will require extracting large amounts of information from legacy systems and building applications designed to use the data. This is an expensive process, and few organizations are willing to pay, or are capable of paying.
While new technology is making it easier to gather, store, and archive information, the healthcare industry has to put a system in place where high blood pressure, elevated blood pressure, and hypertension are classified appropriately and they mean the same thing across the board to all the electronic health record (EHR) systems. Misunderstandings and chaos have reigned over healthcare, resulting in inefficiencies amounting to almost 18 percent of the GDP in the U.S., totaling around $3 trillion. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson