When you think of the healthcare field, you probably think first of doctors’ offices, hospitals and even pharmacies. Technology, and more specifically the big data advantages behind it, isn’t necessarily something that initially comes to mind. In the past, data was all written, physically filed and rarely ever shared. However, as advancements have continued to dominate in this field, the need for data processing, storage and sharing has also increased.

When considering technology in the healthcare industry, it is important to understand the role that big data has. It touches many different aspects. The following are some of the top ways big data is becoming central to healthcare in today’s digital age. Third party data center support services are crucial to maintain data compliance and patient data secure.

Provides a multi-dimensional view of patient care.

Rather than looking at patients and their history, demographics or symptoms in a vacuum, big data allows for patient data to be aggregated and compared. By taking advantage of the data collected, providers and researchers alike can have a full-circle approach to case reviews and courses of treatment. Like with any experimental field, the more data you have the better your chance of success in testing your hypothesis. Rather than seeing one ailment and treating it, people can be treated on a whole based on multiple personal and environmental factors. Leveraging mass data can help in times of crisis like epidemics as well. Patients can be looked at from a 360-degree perspective, but treated on an individual and personalized level.

Allows for optimized doctor-patient relationships.

The more doctors know, the better their relationships can be. Big data has allowed doctors to share information in real time and connect with other providers across the board in a patient’s specific course of treatment. For example, doctors in certain hospital networks can pull all patient records simultaneously no matter which specialist they see. This allows them to truly understand and know what the patient is experiencing before making a diagnosis. Quality of care has drastically improved with big data as has patient satisfaction.

Maximizes marketing reach and efforts.

Previously, the only doctors or providers a patient would visit were ones either near their homes or that came highly recommended by a family or close friend. Now, with big data and the digital landscape, patients can research just about any doctor in the world, and even converse with real patients who have used them. For the industry, this provides a huge opportunity to market to this highly engaged audience to bring in new patients almost limitlessly. It also means that doctors have more streamlined capabilities to provide updates and reminders, encouraging annual checkups or specific preventative treatments that may otherwise have been ignored.

Improves the success of medical trials.

By leveraging big data, clinical trials have improved tremendously. This applies not only in the trial itself but across the globe. The aggregation of data has been able to connect multiple medical trials in various areas. By sharing information, these clinical trials can truly work symbiotically to reach a more accurate picture of what will happen when new drugs or treatments are introduced.

Once you have this data, however, storage and protection is key. Especially with healthcare, the information companies collect is personal and sensitive. Having physical data backup for disaster recovery situations is absolutely vital to protecting information. This is where tape storage libraries come in. Tape storage virtually can’t be hacked unless physically stolen (and even then, this scenario is highly unlikely as you would need the proper equipment and machinery to read it). This provides great value in many industries, but especially in healthcare where record-keeping is one of the most important components. Without knowing a patient’s medical history or being able to retrieve accurate records, the quality of care, and choice of treatment, may be compromised.

Big data has become increasingly prominent in the healthcare industry, and will continue to play an important role as both technology and medicine advance.