Big Data and Data Sharing – Going Places?

April 5, 2013

Several recent publications have focused on big data and data sharing in healthcare for secondary use of EMR data. First, the American Society of Clinical Oncology announced CancerLinQ. CancerLinQ is a proof of concept project which demonstrated the ability to integrate data from several cancer centers using existing tools (some open source) for research. While there are critics of this project in terms of it’s scalability and ability to integrate large amounts of data of different cancer types, its approach of attempting to simplify data integration. I commented on CancerLinQ for the iHealthbeat newsletter.

Second is a report from the Institute of Medicine on Sharing Clinical Research Data. This workshop report included pharmaceutical companies, academic researchers, and government agencies whom each have large amounts of research data and are beginning initiatives to make that data available for shared research initiatives. This is a hopeful trend and I hope to see followup on the presentations from this workshop.

Third is a report from McKinsey on The big-data revolution in US health care: Accelerating value and innovation. This report does a good job of focusing on the value of big data in health care, specifically: right living, right care, right provider, right value, and right innovation. Some see McKinsey as a late arrival in the big data realm but the report is a help addition to the discussion that cuts through some of the hype around big data.

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One Response to “Big Data and Data Sharing – Going Places?”

  1. Do you really see us doing “big data” in healthcare yet? I still see us in the BI realm when it comes to data. One vendor at HIMSS called what they were doing “skinny data”: http://www.hospitalemrandehr.com/2013/04/02/healthcare-big-data-vs-skinny-data/ At least they’re providing real value from the data. The same can’t be said for so many enterprise data warehouses.

    What is true is that we’ve done far too little in healthcare to make use of healthcare data.

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