The Future of Big Data in Healthcare

Big data in healthcare offers great potential for improving care, but healthcare agencies face challenges of improving infrastructure, analytics capabilities, and data security, according to “The Big Data Cure” report by MeriTalk.[1] MeriTalk surveyed 150 IT-related executives in Federal Agencies that focus on healthcare and healthcare research. The majority of respondents suggested that less than one in five healthcare agencies are prepared to work with Big Data.

Big data in healthcare offers the opportunity to transform health management and patient care. Those surveyed say that,

  • 63% say Big Data will help track and manage population health more efficiently
  • 62% say Big Data will significantly improve patient care within the military health and VA systems
  • 60% say Big Data will enhance the ability to deliver preventive care

big data in healthcare

There’s a massive amount of big data that will soon be pouring in through EHR, HIE, Telehealth, mhealth, and Machine to Machine (M2M). “Emerging mHealth and M2M technology will together create a new healthcare data deluge, and tremendous opportunity to improve efficiency and patient care,” said Dan Dougherty, vice president, EMC Federal. “DoD delivers healthcare to nearly 10 million people through TRICARE, and we know costs have been rising. Big Data analytics, mHealth, and M2M technology can make an impact in key areas including helping to more successfully manage chronic conditions with improved preventative care – monitoring and addressing symptoms before they become acute.”

Some agencies are already utilized big data to improve patient care (35%), reduce care costs (31%), improve health outcomes (28%), and increase early detection (22%).

In order to fully exploit these opportunities, healthcare must invest in data storage, capture, processing, and optimization. Additionally, facilities must invest in personnel that can analyze and apply Big Data and tools that can deliver real time data analytics solutions.

[1] The Big Data Cure. Meritalk, March 24, 2014 <>