This is a very interesting piece from McKinsey on some of the incentives to use big data in healthcare and how it can play a positive role. The trend towards broader information sharing across more of the stakeholders in healthcare is encouraging. As in other areas of science the increasing volume of information and improved analytical tools are yielding valuable insights. I particularly liked this quote:
“And all stakeholders must recognize the value of big data and be willing to act on its insights, a fundamental mind-set shift for many and one that may prove difficult to achieve. Patients will not benefit from research on exercise, for example, if they persist in their sedentary lifestyles. And physicians may not improve patient outcomes if they refuse to follow treatment protocols based on big data and instead rely solely on their own judgment.”
Software providers now have to help ensure that these insights can be delivered where and when it matters for the clinician and the patient. It is already challenging for clinicians to make use of the information they have available during an in-clinic consultation with a patient. More information will only increase the challenge. Going even further to follow up on the lifestyle changes suggested by big data and evidence based medicine will require more substantial changes. Patients and healthcare providers will need to interact more frequently and have better, more convenient, access to the information and data they need.