Rich Crocco

The Future of Healthcare: Big Data & IoT

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Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are poised to redefine many industries including retail, automotive and healthcare among others. Healthcare is the sector I want to focus on here. How will IoT affect doctors, healthcare administrators & patients in the coming years? Do we like these changes?


Big Data

The healthcare industry has always been a form of Big Data center. Look behind the counter at your doctor or dentist’s office and you will see thousands of files invariably organized alphabetically and taking up rows of valuable space. What these industries lacked was sufficient technology to organize and use that data effectively. For instance, if you changed doctors your information had to be manually transferred to your new doctor. All that is changing with the use of Big Data techniques and IoT.

Companies such as IBM are working on “a solution that connects every single data source and analyzes structured, unstructured and real-time data.” Solutions like these are meant to pull together information from multiple sources including data from sensors (Fitbit, Apples Watch, etc.), public health records, insurance claims, family health history, etc. If all this information is pulled together and effectively analyzed, the patient would ultimately benefit. Imagine a healthcare database which included all possible relevant data to help with the diagnosis and care of a patient. The patient’s access to expertise just went from the local doctor’s office to worldwide. Read more…