Healthcare Needs a Big Data Infusion

Stacey Higginbotham | GigaOM | March 9, 2012

To improve medicine and health IT, we need a big heaping dose of data. That’s the takeaway from a conversation with Aneesh Chopra, the former U.S. CTO and assistant to President Obama, at South by Southwest in Austin on Friday.

“Today’s healthcare information is locked away in a document — a person’s medical records — but how do you parse those documents?” Chopra asked. “The data architecture is wrong. The architecture should be built on data.”

Much as LinkedIn has managed to turn the resume from a document into many pieces of data that can be then searched, parsed and aggregated in new ways, a patient’s medical record should have that same granularity. And it will, in Chopra’s worldview. Chopra is now a senior advisor for healthcare strategy at The Advisory Board Company, which is focused on bringing the advances of technology to the medical realm...