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Mobile Health Feeds Big Data

Healthcare has been changing in big ways.  These days, a good system can monitor a patient and then use that data to enact behavioral change for an entire society.  Changing society for the better is basically the end goal of Big Data.  

Big Data in healthcare means mining personal data that can be applied either to personal care or combined with large demographic segments to spot trends and improve care to either cure or manage disease and sickness or to change behavior in a positive way.  

For example, technology like Dexcom’s glucose monitor, watches blood sugar levels every five minutes for five days, and is approved by the FDA.  Since controlling sugar is so important, someone who is diabetic can now send complete data to their doctor.  This is something patients have never before been able to do.  This constant stream of data is “Big Data” in that, even if there isn’t a cure, disease and sickness can still be managed by understanding our smallest reactions to daily stimulus.  

This becomes predictive modeling, which means decreased health costs, and implies an upcoming data deluge.  It is possible to get a trillion GB of data for each individual.  The amount can be astronomical, and apps will need to sift through the data to get to the relevant and actionable data (Market Opportunity for new Tech).

Overtime, this public and easily obtainable data will enable patients to become experts in their own medical care while mobile apps and devices will provide patients with the tools and understand to make their own medical decisions. 

The average person can measure their own vital signs and fitness levels through their smart phones with or without an additional appcessory device like a Fitbit.  This change in how the population views health is enabling more personalized and accurate healthcare across the board, potentially eliminating wasteful procedures like annual exams unless the smartphone indicates one is needed. 

This new system functions as a Learning Health System.  Doctors and patients both have access to relevant data 24/7, creating a map of their patient’s health.  Then this mass of data is used as a predictive model to stop sickness before it happens.  Semico forecasts Mobile Health will reach almost $22 billion by 2017.  Check out our Mobile Healthcare report. 

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