30 Jun Big Data Is Revolutionizing Healthcare
Big data is ushering in a new era of healthcare, allowing those of us who can harness its power and insights to achieve optimal health. Roy Wilds, Director of Product Management at PHEMI Systems, and I spoke to business and technical innovators at the Hadoop Summit in San Jose, CA about the importance of scalable big-data solutions in healthcare. It is my hope that our talk, “The Path to Wellness Through Big Data”, inspires work that accelerates advancements in this area.
I’m a 5th-generation physician and I loved hearing stories about my great-grandfather accepting a chicken as payment and the first time he used antibiotics. I think about how far we’ve come in medicine in just 100 years! Back then, the medical community wasn’t even using penicillin yet, much less studying the structure of DNA.
Today, we’ve mapped the human genome and trailblazers in medicine are analyzing DNA, biomarkers, the microbiome and data from a multitude of sources to practice more informed, personalized medicine. The evolution of what brought us here today is phenomenal.
Precision medicine is no longer one-to-many or one-size-fits-all. This is a true one-to-one, personalized approach. We’re able to craft an individual, tailored key that’s made specifically to fit the lock of one specific patient – to fit you. It’s a key that can keep you well and vital throughout life.
In fact, the power of precision medicine helped me help my own son. To learn more, watch the video where I explain how data led us to find his path to wellness.
In order to make the key that will fit you and unlock your health as well as your vitality, we need to analyze data from an incredible amount of sources. In my practice, I look at data from DNA testing, reports which process the raw data from the DNA testing, biomarkers, microbiome testing, nutritional analysis, metabolic markers, toxicity testing, inflammatory markers, hormonal levels, cortisol levels, lipid testing, vitamin/mineral reporting, vital signs, data from wearables, past medical history, symptom documentation and more! From just one patient, the genetic data and annotation can be more than 2,000 gigabytes. Once you add the data from other testing, it’s enormous amount of data and with it comes enormous potential to help our patients.
Right now, the search engine that’s most often analyzing all of this data is in the minds of physicians like me. We don’t have a central service where we can safely and securely put the all of data and look for patterns or build better predictive analytics to improve patient outcome – but that’s changing! Companies like Hortonworks and PHEMI are working on this big-data opportunity in healthcare. The right solutions will help us save billions in healthcare costs and help an untold number of people not only lengthen their lives but improve the quality of it.
I’m driven by my desire to practice medicine as my great-grandfather did – by having a personal and close relationship with each of my patients and using all of the tools and technology available to me to help keep them well. This is truly an exciting time for medicine and for us all.
Please share your thoughts below!