Writing for Forbes, Bernard Marr terms the fight against cancer as the “Holy Grail” of modern medicine.
“Almost everyone will be affected at some point in their lives, either personally or by proxy through a loved one,” he explained. “So it’s no surprise that Big Data is being put to use in many ways to aid the task of improving care, identifying risks and hopefully eventually producing cures.”
One such project highlighted by Marr is the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s CancerLinQ. This initiative hopes to ultimately collate and analyze data from every cancer patient in the United States. Similarly, Flatiron Health recently launched the OncologyCloud, a Big Data program designed to collect data from medical records, doctor notes and billing information. Essentially, Flatiron collates and structures disparate streams into a relevant data flow that can be used for comparative analysis.
In addition to the above-mentioned initiatives, 14 cancer institutes across the United States and Canada recently confirmed they would be using IBM’s Watson analytics engine to match cancer patients with the most appropriate treatments. According to Marr, Watson is even capable of recommending potential drugs that haven’t yet been tapped to treat cancer.
It should also be noted that there are a number of Big Data programs dedicated to researching and curing specific types of cancer. To be sure, the Dragon Master Foundation recently partnered with five U.S. pediatric hospitals to create a database of tissue samples taken from patients with rare childhood brain tumors.
“Just this year a study concluded that thanks to the advances in spotting and treating cancer, by 2050 no one under 80 will be dying from the disease,” adds Marr. “Big Data-powered research and treatment programs will undoubtedly play a part in that victory, just as they continue to give us answers in every field of science.”
As we’ve previously discussed on Rambus Press, healthcare – in general – is expected to be a primary driver of the cross-industry Big Data market worldwide, with Transparency Market Research projecting a massive increase from $6.3 billion to $48.3 billion by 2018.
“As healthcare embraces the need for accurate data, real-time insights into financial performance and patient care and a better understanding of population health management and consumer behaviors, Big Data analytics will continue to be a sound investment,” Jennifer Bresnick of HealthITAnalytics confirmed.
“[Although] the ability of healthcare providers to effectively leverage analytics tools may be threatened by the current lack of sufficient qualified talent, a keen sense of the value of Big Data is leading many organizations to invest heavily in securing experts in clinical and financial data management.”
More specifically, says Bresnick, Cloud computing, mHealth and computer assisted coding technologies are fueling significant investment in the underlying infrastructure that supports predictive Big Data analytics and prescriptive insights into patient care and business intelligence.
Of course, Big Data analytics isn’t limited to healthcare, as it spans multiple verticals, including smart grids, banking and agriculture. Indeed, Wikibon analysts see the Big Data market topping $84B in 2026, attaining a 17% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the forecast period 2011 to 2026. Meanwhile, IDC estimates the global Big Data and Analytics market will hit $125B in hardware, software and services revenue this year (2015).
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