- Year: 2018
- Vol: 4
- Number: 7
Data are becoming increasingly important in health management. Just think of the advantages that could derive from monitoring the vital signs of any person and their symptoms turning them into an online platform that, upon proper authorization, doctors could access at any time and from any place. This is just an example of the kind of transformation processes that health management is undergoing.
In this improvement of health services triggered by new technologies, Big Data is playing a prominent role. The benefits derived from Big Data are becoming a reality in health fields as diverse as: medical services, synthesis of data from medical histories and clinical analysis, management of health centers, hospital administration, distribution of material (especially relevant to specific epidemic needs), detection and prevention of possible side effects of drugs and treatments, scientific documentation (generation, storage and exploitation), medical research, fight against cancer or Pandemic prevention.
Big Data allows integrating structured and unstructured data effectively. Where Big Data can bring more value is in the analysis of unstructured data, in which there is more knowledge to be discovered and exploited. In addition to all this, there is data coming from social networks and those generated by the Internet of things; devices, sensors, medical instruments, fitness equipment, ...
But the important thing is not to have a lot of data, but the fact that Big Data tools contribute to the design and implementation of efficient processes that help us carry out health care policies based not only on the available data, but also on their interpretation and understanding. This is how it can effectively contribute to improving health care, saving lives, expanding access to health systems and optimizing costs. In this regard, the important role played by Big Data in genomic research and genome sequencing should be mentioned.
This special issue is designed with the primary objective of showing what we have just pointed out: the diversity of fields where big data is used and consequently, how it is increasingly gaining importance as a tool for analysis and research in the field of healing. In this sense there are papers related to the following topics: re-using electronic health records with artificial intelligence, big data analytics solution for intelligent healthcare management, development of a predictive model for successful induction of labour, big data and the efficient management of outpatient visits, development of injury prevention policies following a big data approach, generating big data sets from knowledge-based decision support systems to pursue value-based healthcare, the use of administrative records of health information both for diagnoses and patients, and an analysis of the European public health system model and the corresponding healthcare and management-related information systems, the challenges that these health systems are currently facing, and the possible contributions of big data solutions to this field.
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