Rockville (MD), August 31, 2017 — Big Data in healthcare involves the processing of large amounts of both structured and unstructured data about individual patients, and major companies are moving into this space, according to Kalorama Information. Traditional technologies are not up to the task, which is why Big Data technologies have been and are being developed by companies both experienced and new to healthcare. Integrating this data by use of new technologies into smart data, which can be used in a meaningful way for clinical decision-making, is the goal of Big Data in medicine. The healthcare market research firm examines selected current applications of Big Data players and some of their potential future opportunities in Big Data in Healthcare 2017.
"Big Data companies are looking to connect tens of millions of data sets from almost every facet of the health system — office visits, surgeries, lab tests, images, medical devices, prescriptions, and more," said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information. "The derived data can be used to create patient care guidelines."
For the purpose of their report, Kalorama defines Big Data companies broadly. Big Data players are companies or organizations involved with healthcare analytics processes in some form, whether gathering healthcare data, either in an unstructured or a structured (as in an EHR platform) way; structuring healthcare data; or applying healthcare data, as is most often the case in precision medicine applications.
Numerous partnerships, acquisitions, alliances, and organizations in healthcare have been formed over the last few years in an attempt to meet the challenges of the enormous datasets that flow daily from healthcare providers, manufacturers, regulatory bodies, scientists and others. In vitro diagnostic (IVD) companies are moving from being device-driven to a total systems suite of services approach with a data management focus via partnerships with Google, Apple, IBM Watson and other information technology (IT) companies.
IT companies are a natural fit for the healthcare Big Data market. The market is preparing for the next wave of intensive IT offerings, some of which are highlighted in the report. IT firms participating in IVD are diverse and show great ingenuity. In IVD, there has been a proliferation of software options to capture and analyze data from multiplexed, signature panel, mass spectroscopy, arrays and biochip platform molecular acid tests, among others.
A major player in the Big Data in healthcare space is IBM’s Watson. Watson is the first open cognitive computing technology platform and represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Apple Inc., also an entrant into the market, is capitalizing on its enormous data mining capability to become a player in an era where patient data is captured via digital devices to help create treatments for disease and comprehensive care plans that include drugs and medical devices.
Google has established a number of new businesses that combine its Big Data capabilities with medical applications. The Google X research lab part of Google X Life Sciences is creating the Baseline Study with the goal to build a genomics database to facilitate early diagnosis and disease prevention. Google anticipates that this may become the world’s biggest, to include all sorts of medical information and laboratory test data. The Google X Baseline Study will include genome data collected by 23andMe, Inc. (Mountain View, CA) and medical information from the California Life Company (Calico), which is owned by Google.
Major IVD companies as well have jumped into the healthcare Big Data space with zeal, including such manufacturers as Beckman Coulter Diagnostics, Qiagen, Roche, Illumina, and PerkinElmer. Data is being shared and gene targets have been validated and included in either targeted tests or panels. Now laboratory professionals and clinicians need tools to make sense of the continuous stream of tests and targets. IVD companies in collaboration with established and new IT companies are responding to this need with a massive wave of IT tool acquisitions, alliances and collaborations. These IT tools are offered as standalone services and also integrated into test platforms.
Despite new approaches, new technologies and a wealth of new information, drug research and development (R&D) is still challenged by understanding exactly how drugs will work and why they may fail. Target validation remains a quandary as well. In order to overcome these challenges, many large pharmaceutical entities have turned to deploying Big Data analytics. Pharmaceutical R&D has historically been an internal, secretive activity. However, pharmaceutical companies have begun to reach out and collaborate with external partners, looking to extend their knowledge and data networks.
Health insurance giants such as Aetna, UnitedHealth and Kaiser Permanente, in collaboration with research organizations and IT companies, are working to make medicine personalized. They are using Big Data analytics engines that integrate the molecular information (genomic, proteomic, metabolomic and others) from thousands of patients that they insure with their demographic and disease information to identify biomarkers linked to disease-driving mechanisms. The long-term goal is to develop markers that will make the growing field of personalized medicine very precise.
Ultimately the goal of Big Data in healthcare and participants in the Big Data process is to enable healthcare practitioners to gain insights into patient treatment from an unprecedented mix of health information sources, which may include inputs from across the healthcare ecosystem:
About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information, a division of MarketResearch.com, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased through Kalorama’s website and are also available on www.marketresearch.com and www.profound.com.
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