Big Data in Health - It's a BIG DEAL or "big deal..." ?
In the future, patients will be followed by their clouds of personal health information, like Pig-Pen with his cloud of dirt in the comic strip Peanuts. As this cloud grows by orders of magnitude, advanced algorithms, powerful NLP, semantic taxonomies, search engines, clinical rules engines, and other technologies, will tap into this cloud to normalize, classify, and enrich the data. Will we find valuable signal or just more noise? Will Big Data usher in an era of personalized health where each person’s health status is understood and treated uniquely or will that goal be elusive? The Pig-Pen Cloud will shift the focus of health from descriptive/prescriptive (what happened and what should we do about it) to predictive (what is likely to happen and what changes we can make early on to modify the probabilities). What will work and what will the challenges be?