USA Today – If ‘Clean,’ Big Data Can Improve U.S. Healthcare

PIcture of USA Today logoThe May 14, 2014, the USA Today published an insightful article on Big Data:  ‘If ‘Clean,’ Big Data Can Improve U.S. Healthcare’, highlighting what happens when medical data is augmented with Facebook and other social media data.

What makes this article fascinating is that it postulates that  what “Americans share on social media websites about their health and lifestyle is more up to date and accurate than what they share with doctors, employers, insurance companies and government agencies.”  This is an interesting, core notion about whom individuals trust.

As defined by Gartner, Big Data differs from traditional statistical analysis in that the high volume, high velocity and high variety of data, have vastly increased over the past decade, unleashing a range of new opportunities to solve problems via predictive analytics.  In healthcare, Big Data has the power to transform healthcare from ‘magic’ to ‘just math’.

The article references Eva Ho, a co-founder of Applied Semantics (acquired by Google) and current partner with Susa Ventures (a venture capital firm) who notes the dirty little secret of big data:  “The little secret of big data is that a lot of it isn’t clean”.

Interestingly, by incorporating “Facebook data with medical-record analysis, predictions for some health outcomes” “were two to four times more accurate than those based on medical or socio-economic data alone, according to the study done by New York-based MKTG”.

Welltok, an innovative, Denver-based company, is highlighted for “”zanalyzing health and lifestyle data from many sources, including social media accounts, can help create highly customized personal health management services for consumers”, says Claudia Fan Munce, managing director of IBM’s venture capital group, which invested in Welltok”.

Journalist John Shinal’s impressive background includes work with Bloomberg, Business Week, Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal

To read this excellent article on the USA Today web site, click here.

By Nick Mavrick

You can find Nick Mavrick on Google+

Intelligent Response specializes in managing Big Data and Digital Advocacy projects from start to finish in Washington DC.

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