Healthcare is always evolving. Its development is the main reason that life expectancy rises across the world. And the next great leap in healthcare provision isn’t necessarily about discovering a new drug or treatment but understanding the thousands of data points that add up to one person’s individual health. In that respect, it’s big data that’s set to change lives in the next decade – and is already doing so through innovative data analysis techniques. Here’s how big data can help those with chronic health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and muscular-skeletal issues.
As many people who suffer or live with a chronic health condition will tell you, some of the worst months of their ailment were those that came before their diagnosis. Without having a framework around which to understand their pain or discomfort, they were left with mysterious fatigue and other side effects that they couldn’t explain. Many don’t seek medical advice, assuming the issue is temporary. Digital health, including big data analysis, can spot small changes in our body – especially if we’re happy to go for check-ups with doctors or wear a health tech wearable device. By analyzing thousands of data points, doctors can now come to more accurate diagnoses in far less time.
Chronic conditions are treated differently depending on the individual’s age demographic and other health and lifestyle factors. Diabetes is a prime example of this: there are different forms of diabetes and different types of patients that require bespoke treatment plans. The problem is that, even in the case of diabetes, people are often recommended to take a course that may not suit their individual needs. Again, big data is on hand to help. Dario health is an example of a provider that’s forging new, better chronic illness treatments with the help of data gathered, analyzed, and understood.
As this big data becomes more sophisticated, with larger data sets that include international individuals, doctors and researchers will form ever-larger pools of data to inspect. Their algorithms will get better, and their analysis and presentation methods will improve. And as this improvement happens, likely at a rapid rate, we’ll see new findings that we couldn’t possibly have reached without access to big data. This is the true new dawn of healthcare: preventative medicine. But it will be born from initiatives that help treat the chronically ill – helping map a path to prevention in the future.
As someone with a chronic health condition, you’ll know what it’s like to trawl through the internet looking for health and lifestyle tips that may help relieve your pain, stress, discomfort, or suffering. You come across thousands upon thousands of blog posts – but you’re unsure whether any of them have any validity or not. The great thing about data is that it’s easily compressed into scientific reports for the lay reader to understand. That means healthcare reporting – and the soundness of the science underpinning your lifestyle choices – will vastly improve as data generates new insights for the chronically ill.
Big data isn’t just a business phrase – it’s proving hugely important in healthcare, especially for those with chronic conditions.