Big data will transform health care in the future, but more needs to be done to train doctors and patients in data management and analysis. Those were among the key findings of Stanford Medicine's inaugural Health Trends Report, which was published late yesterday.
The report is a comprehensive review and analysis of existing health care research and open-source data, combined with insights from Stanford faculty and external health care experts, on the current and emerging trends facing the health care sector.
"Today, health care is becoming increasingly connected but also increasingly disrupted," said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. "This unique dichotomy poses both an opportunity and a challenge for institutions like our own, whose job it is to heal, innovate and educate. In publishing this report, we hope to show how big data is the most important trend facing the sector and, in the process, inform and educate the entire medical community --including patients, doctors, the private and public sectors -- who are actively shaping the future of health care."
As detailed in our press release:
...its most crucial finding is the need to train doctors and other medical professionals for a future in which analyzing and managing big data will be a core part of their roles. Improving their skills and literacy in computing and analytics, data management and assessment, information processing and software and technology-infrastructure development will be vital if the profession is to take advantage of the benefits of big data. This will require changes to how health care providers are taught the skills to deliver successful patient outcomes.
Similarly, the rise in wearable devices, genetic testing and other technologies gives patients more information than ever about their own health, making greater efforts to promote health literacy necessary so they can make informed decisions.
The full report can be accessed from this page.