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From marketing to healthcare, across all industries, big data has become the next disruptive technology. The healthcare industry specifically is consistently a late technology adopter, however, it is starting to uncover new ways to optimize and serve patients using big data. These are the top five ways big data is helping improve patient lives.

Big data helps doctors determine the best treatment

Dr. Anil Jain, a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic, wished he could see and analyze diabetic patient data so he could determine the best treatment plan after he noticed diabetic patients often had the same two or three concurrent medical issues. Jain thought if he had access to aggregated patient data, he and other doctors would be able to create better outcomes for their patients.

This led the Cleveland Clinic to create a program called Explorys, which gave doctors the ability to put in data and then sift through the data to “identify patient risk factors, track outcomes and evaluate treatment success.” IBM purchased Explorys in an effort to improve its cloud offerings using the supercomputer Watson.

IBM’s Watson is also being used as a tool to help oncologists determine the best treatment route for their cancer patients by using big data …

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