BigData and HealthCare: Is BigData Holding The Key For Cancer Treatment Breakthrough?

The general sentiment of BigData is usually comprised of fear for the ramifications of its possible misuse. But recently medical professionals have decided to change how Physicians treat cancer patients by using BigData to complement their diagnosis’. The American Society of Oncology have developed a “prototype for CancerLinQ, a “learning health system” that collects and analyzes anonymous patient information to provide immediate feedback and guidance for physicians.” This report begs the questions of what kind of influence BigData can have on the future of health care.

In Need Of An Update

According to a report by Mashable, Doctors believe that cancer patients can benefit from pooling statistics of others with similar medical issues. As of right now only 3 percent of cancer patients take part in clinical trials which help uncover which treatments are effective. With over 12 million cancer patients, medical professionals seek for a better source to develop the best plans for their patients. BigData offers the chance for doctors to improve the quality care they give their patients. BigData can provide physicians with insight on which medicines work best, and which approaches are most suitable to their patients.

Can We Trust BigData?

The primary concern with using the power of BigData is the possibility of having private information be released to the public. In the modern digital age people are constantly being subjected to the collection of data where ever they go. Websites like Amazon, Google, and Facebook use page visits and web searches in order to better target their market. While many believe this is an invasion of privacy, those benefiting from BigData defend their position by insisting that each piece of data isn’t used to identify individuals.

But when it comes to our health records, will the ASCO be able to ensure patients privacy?

According to the president of the ASCO, Susan Swain, the Data retrieved from patients will be quite secure and will not be able to be used to identify patients. This new program will have a third party “de-identify” the information on patients and then relay the analyzed data to oncologists throughout America. This is very comforting news seeing as how Americans value their privacy, especially when it concerns their medical records.

A Promising Trend

With this innovative move to use BigData in how we treat cancer patients can we begin to use these tools to better serve other areas of medicine? In America, 7 out of 10 Americans die from a chronic illness and 1 out of 2 Americans suffer from a chronic illness. Medical issues like heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s can be better treated by using the BigData tools that are readily available and can be implemented immediately.

With all the cons that are constantly cited by critics, the prospect of saving American lives outweigh the possible downfalls of BigData. Hopefully in the future we can change how we use BigData in order to better serve the welfare of this country.

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The Extinction Of The Modern Day Wallet

The battle for the mobile wallet is starting to heat up as the number of smartphone owners is skyrocketing. The mobile payments market is poised to see thousands of consumers willing to hand over there wallets to big tech companies. Companies like Square and Google have already created a medium for mobile payments that are being used my numerous consumers and vendors. Although these companies may have seized a sizable market share, the mobile payments landscape has much more room to grow. Upcoming businesses like Clinkle, a start-up created by drop outs at Stanford university, recognize the need for mobile wallets and are rushing to to capitalize on the growing market.

Verifone is one of the current mobile payments providers on the market.

Verifone is one of the current mobile payments providers on the market.

There Can Only Be One

As with many other big technological innovations there is usually one product or program that eventually rules the marketplace. In the case of social media, the majority of consumers use Facebook in respect to other programs that offer the same services. The same could be said of Google and the search engine market. After a period of growth and innovation most tech advancements are monopolized and are solely controlled by one business. The market for mobile payments is still in the preliminary stages of growth but soon a single company will improve upon the early efforts mobile wallets pioneers and become the king of smartphone payments. Clinkle is an example of a company trying to become the one stop shop of all mobile wallets. Will they succeed? Only time will tell.

The New Normal

Probably one of the biggest hurdles that mobile payment providers have to overcome is the unwillingness to change consumers routine in paying with wallets. The ease of paying for products with debit cards and cash is already quite simple, fast, and effective. What incentive do consumers have in handing their finances over to a third party mobile payment provider?

Well, one advantage mobile payment company will provide is the ability to transfer funds between different users. Splitting checks and handling money between your friends and families will become much simpler then withdrawing cash from ATMs or writing checks. Transfers can be done much faster between two private parties then ever before. But with all this financial data being exchanged, does the mobile wallet come with a price tag on your privacy?

The Impact On Bigdata

The real money that could be made from mobile wallets is the mass amount of data being collected on the purchasing habits of consumers. Imagine being able to tap into the type of products a customer pays for and linking that information with other data collected on their phones. Companies like Coca-Cola could in theory discover that the majority of coke buyers using a Tallahassee area code are college students who use mostly Instagram for their chosen social media. This information could give Coca-Cola an advantage on how to segment and market to their biggest consumer base in the 850 area code.

The big drawback is the invasion of privacy that plague many other social media websites. Users may not adopt the new mobile wallet service for fear of intrusion into their text messages, phone conversations, and emails. Other users may fear hackers attempting to steal the money in their mobile bank account. Consumers value their security and privacy so much so that they might forsake these new mobile payment services and just stick with the ancient and archaic way of purchasing goods: the debit check card.

Social Media Marketing or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learned to Love the ‘like’

It’s no secret that the majority of companies are now looking to Facebook to garner new customers while maintaining brand image. The all and powerful ‘like’ on Facebook has now become the widely accepted benchmark for social media marketing success; but should it be?

Renowned e-marketing blogger Mark Shaefer recently brought this point up for discussion on his popular blog ‘Grow’. Mr. Shaefer argues that companies would be mistaken if they began their social media campaign by targeting ‘likes’ from Facebook users. Shaefer explains that the ‘like’ doesn’t adequately engage the users into forming meaningful and lasting relationships. While I am inclined to accept the discoveries of social media expert Mark Shaefer, I am unfortunately left puzzled due to my own personal encounters with the ‘like’.

STATS ARE FOR LOSERS

Marketing can be, and should be, boiled down to statistical analysis when ever possible. By quantifying a return on marketing efforts, corporations can make informed decisions about how to build relationships with its customers. The problem occurs when you try to quantify a ‘like’? Ask some business experts and you will most likely see conflicting views. Some defend the value of a ‘like’ and others adamantly reject its worth.

Although this may be categorized as irrational and wildly unconventional, I personally believe that companies should take it on faith that a ‘like’ is incredibly valuable. Companies should begin to stop worrying, and learn to love the ‘like’.

YOU GOT A FRIEND IN ME

My social media presence isn’t currently up to speed with the growing trends but I would like to believe that my online activity aligns with the average 22 year old college student. I more or less check my Facebook news feed  with some frequency as a relief from the mundane day to day activities.

To my surprise, I have found that companies I have liked have made significant impressions on me during our “un-engaged” relationship together. As long as these companies produced fresh content and popped up on my news feed, I began to feel personal involvement in the brand’s life.

IT WAS ‘LIKE’ AT FIRST SIGHT

A while back I ‘liked’ Atomic Coffee, a local coffee shop, because of content that was suggested to me by my friends activity. I saw the content they produced (chocolate covered bacon!?!?) and its novelty and originality pushed me to like their page out of sheer impulse. After some months passed, I seemed to grow fond of Atomic Coffee. I unexpectedly became an expert on their specials and their products. I began to view them as something else entirely: as my own friend.

I know what you are saying… a real friend? While I may have been speaking in hyperbole, the effect of seeing Atomic Coffee show up on my daily news feed nonetheless had an impact in my buying behavior. Atomic Coffee went from a store with goods to pass on to consumers to my personal coffee brewers in which I had a relationship unique to me. The ‘like’ in this instance has made the difference between utter anonymity and obsessive passion. If a simple ‘like’ could potentially make one consumer a brand advocate, then wouldn’t it be worth the marketing efforts to secure them?

… Well… No. Companies are mostly concerned with their bottom line and ‘likes’ don’t generally carry a dollar value amount. Even with that said, if I found myself atop the corporate ladder and head of marketing for a billion dollar company, rest assured I will most likely be one of the few that stops worry and loving each and every ‘like’.