Big data in health care and biomedical research – John Quackenbush


Every major scientific and technological revolution in history has been driven by one thing: access to data. Today, the availability of Big Data from a wide variety of sources is transforming health and biomedical research into an information science, where discovery is fuelled by our ability to effectively collect, manage, analyse, and interpret data, and where Improving outcomes and controlling cost require effective use of available information. Realising Big Data’s full potential will require that we develop new analytical methods to address a number of fundamental issues and that we develop new ways of integrating, comparing, and synthesizing information, and that we develop approaches that allow us to communicate want we learn in an intuitive and useful fashion to a variety of “consumers”, each of whom has unique needs for data access. If we are successful, we have the opportunity to both dramatically improve our understanding of human disease and implement protocols that will ultimately help to contain costs. Using concrete examples from our work, I will present some vignettes that highlight the challenges and opportunities that present themselves in today’s data rich environment in health care and biomedical research.

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