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Big data and analytics is pervasive at HIMSS14

February 17, 2014

Is big data just a buzzword? I say no way! More than 80 percent of the world’s data was created in just the last two years: video, email and social media just to name a few. This data explosion is not lost on healthcare. Beyond the digitization of transactional and clinical data in medical records, lab results and prescriptions, think about images or email correspondence with or between providers. Think about genomic data, health monitors and sensors at home for chronically ill patients, or in the hospital. Think about fitness apps and social wellness sites to again, name a very few.

Some stats on data growth in healthcare

I’ve seen various reports projecting the growth of health and fitness apps. One report from Berg Research predicts the growth of remote monitoring devices to reach 4.9M by 2016. Another report from Juniper Research predicts that 3M patients worldwide will be using remote monitoring devices to transmit health information by 2016. Yet another 2016 prediction from ABI Research is that the market size for health and fitness apps will cross $400M. The firm research2guidance predicts the mobile health app market to reach $26B by 2017 and ABI Research predicts the wearable devices revenue to grow to $6B by 2018. 

These are significant growth numbers and I think the point is that the market is growing so fast that even statisticians and researchers can’t get their arms around the potential. And, mobile health is really only a small facet of where we’ll see data growth that impacts healthcare.

So what are healthcare organizations to do?

Picture3.pngFirst and foremost, invest in a big data and analytics platform to realize ROI in your analytics projects now, and support future growth and requirements as needs change. Traditional information, integration and governance capabilities along with security and privacy to build a trusted data foundation are requirements that don’t go away with big data, they only become increasingly important. At the IBM booth #1651 at HIMSS14, you can speak with experts who have helped countless healthcare organizations lay the right foundation now with an eye toward big data and the rich analytics that can come from it.

Another challenge is to shift the culture and mindset to become data-driven. This starts with a trusted data foundation and is cultivated through high-quality, high-value analytics that are available at the fingertips of those who need it most. Infusing analytics across the organization with easy-to-use tools and a trusted data foundation will win the hearts and minds of clinicians who will feed quality data back into the system. Once they get a taste, such as the opportunity to include additional data types like clinical notes, they will come back for more. 

Finally, as we speed forward with the growth in social and mobile engagement, we have an opportunity to capture the voice of the individual as it relates to their lifestyle and behaviors and how that impacts their propensity to engage in their health. IBM Watson Foundations, announced on January 9, is the core IBM information management and analytics platform that is now integrated with Watson capabilities for natural language processing and cognitive computing. This linkage provides a strong path for IBM clients to leverage their traditional investments, shift to big data and ultimately take advantage of the cognitive power of IBM Watson to drive new insights about individual patients.  

All of these capabilities and more will be featured in IBM’s booth at HIMSS this year. I’m truly excited about the lineup of solutions IBM is showcasing: 

  • Streaming analytics in the ICU and at home
  • Natural Language Processing to better detect patients at risk for hospital readmission
  • Watson solutions that can be used today to accelerate research and support oncology treatment decisions
  • Consumer engagement solutions that help you engage with individuals based on their interactions with your website, marketing programs and social media 

For more information on the many things we have happening, visit IBM Healthcare on a Smarter Planet or come by booth #1651 for a tour. And listen to this short podcast that overviews highlights to watch for at HIMSS!