Using Big Data to Make Wiser Medical Decisions

Using Big Data to Make Wiser Medical Decisions

By Fouad Bendris

As the chief information officer of a large academic medical center, I oversee four petabytes of data. Is that “big data”? I have little difficulty storing, securing, and accessing it, so I’m not sure it qualifies as big. To me, the bigness of data is not its absolute size, but the task of transforming it into wisdom.

Patient-Generated Health Data – For most of my life, my blood pressure (BP) has been 110/50 — a boring number that is considered medically reasonable. During an annual physical exam this past summer, it was 170/100. My medical workup suggested no medical cause for this elevated BP, such as heart- or kidney-related problems. My clinician was perplexed: Was this sudden increase caused by a stressful commute (the Massachusetts Turnpike is awful), too much tea (caffeine and theobromine), or work-related anxiety? To find out, we needed data !

Fouad Bendris’s insight:
Wise analysis – The data #analytics were done retrospectively, not in real time. A computer did not constantly mine data and then alert clinicians to a new finding.
Someone had to ask the right questions — in short, to glean information from the numbers and then use knowledge to make wise, analytical choices …

Source:: Strategy & Governance

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