The notion of Big Data analytics has brought tremendous technological changes in Medicine and Healthcare sectors. It have permitted data scrutiny in search of valuable business information and insights to discover patterns, market trends and customers’ preferences. In other words, they have turned data into knowledge.
The “Electronic Health Record” is one of the projects that was possible because of Big Data analytics. “EHRs” are real-time, patient-centered records that make medical information of an individual available instantly to all healthcare providers. EHRs retain individual’s detailed medical history over the years and keep it up-to-date. This makes EHRs an effective tool to follow-up and assess a patient’s situation and can even detect and prevent adverse events. Records can be shared electronically between healthcare providers on mobile devices contributing in a more efficient consultation hence a more targeted healing process. Moreover, in emergencies, the accessibility of “EHRs” by life rescuers helps them save precious time. From another perspective, as records are anonymously shared with public health authorities, the latter are able to foresee and face epidemic diseases more efficiently, contributing to the well-being of communities.
The Healthcare sector has been benefiting from the technological advances that combines Big Data and nanotechnology and the wide spread of connected objects. Dedicated apps are turning our smartphones into medicalized tools. We are relying instinctively on wearable devices, attachments and smartphones before calling our medical doctors. These increasingly powerful tools can track our vital signs giving us an immediate diagnosis. Thus, instead of trying to explain our symptoms to a medical doctor, we can now share with him/her our diagnosis and partner in finding the right remedy.
This increasing knowledge and control over our health is empowering patients and radically altering the classical patient-medical doctor relationship, turning it into a real partnership.
Recently, a French-Swiss firm announced that it would soon release a connected syringe intended to ease diabetics ‘everyday lives. With a dedicated mobile app, it will be capable of measuring blood glucose via a microinjection and in the same time, administer insulin doses with its hypodermic syringe. Collected Data can be shared with family members, an ideal choice for monitoring the health of an elderly or a young patient. It is also possible to automatically transfer the record to a healthcare provider, thus avoiding unnecessary appointments or to remove any doubts.
As technological advances keep on evolving, soon our clothes will be equipped with sensors capable of revealing any temporary discomfort. Studies on connected shoes are being undertaken to enable detecting any sign of Parkinson’s disease in elderly.
Medicine and healthcare sectors are great experimenting opportunities open to all technological advances and there is no turning back from what the digital world will be bringing to future generations.