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.