Big Data Is the Next Big Thing in Health IT

Brian Ahier | O'Reilly Radar | February 27, 2012

Big data introduces unique healthcare challenges and opportunities.

During the 2012 HIMSS conference in Las Vegas I was invited by Dell Healthcare, along with a group of health IT experts, to discuss issues in health information technology. The session sparked some passionate discourse about the challenges and opportunities that are important to the health IT industry.

Moderator Dan Briody started the event with a question about things we had seen at HIMSS that had changed our thinking about health IT. Never being shy, I jumped right in and spoke about the issues of payment reform and how the private market is beginning to show signs of disruptive innovation. After a great deal of back and forth among the panelists it seemed we slipped into listing many of the barriers — technological, political and cultural — that health IT faces. I was hoping we would get back to sharing possible solutions, so I made the proposal that big data is the next big thing in health IT (see video below).