The healthcare data explosion is coming: Ep 14, HealthcareTalks

In the future, because we know that data is starting to become used on a daily basis now, what we’re going to see is that data will definitely explode. So today, we’re in what we call administrative or economic style data. So the transactions, for example, for claims, the amount of data that’s needed to maintain small amounts of lab records, uh, pharmaceutical records, they’re pretty small. And so if you — if you called the unit of data today one and say, “Okay, that’s our baseline number that we’re going to use,” we will — we’re starting to see with simple, meaningful use data, now that’s starting to go in the clinical side, documents being stored in their native, uh, PDF formats, image formats, et cetera.

Then moving into things like lab — labs with x-rays, with MRIs, these are now going if you think about the factor of one, you’re already now at a factor of 100 or a factor of 1,000 when you start to bring images into the fold. So moving from very basic, granular kinds of structure data to, uh, where we are with images and documents and meaningful use kind of clinical data. We’re already at a factor of 100 or 1,000 depending on how many images. If you’re 100 percent digital in your images, it could get to 1,000. If you’re 50 percent digital, it could be something as little as 100. But that’s not — that’s the beginning of the story. It’s going to end up with genetics and proteomics. Genetics, once you start bringing those in, now you’re at factors of 10,000 or 100,000, and so you can just see that if you’re accustomed to one tape, uh, managing your, uh, data, you’re already moving to 100 or 1,000 tapes, uh, with basic imaging.

And then start putting in genetic data, start putting proteomic data. It — it’s just going to explode, and you can’t manage it. You can’t manage it with tapes. You can’t manage it with smaller hard drives in the same way that you have been in the past. So the explosion is already — we can see it across the horizon. It’s not something that people are guessing about. You see it today. It’s just a matter of how fast your hospital or your health system start to embrace digital data.

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