The Big Data therapy
To understand the impact that Big Data have on diagnosis and treatment of patients, we interviewed a complex systems expert, Enrico Capobianco who works at the University of Miami and deals with computational biology and bioinformatics.
"The definition of Big Data is hybrid" - Enrico Capobianco explained to us - "there is not only the reference to the "three Vs": volume, velocity and variety. I like the expression of Big Data as a reflection of the global fluency, that is the global flow of information at all levels of our life. Another important aspect is the liquidity of data. The information circulates and is quantifiable. At a commercial level, the economic value of data is easy to quantify because thanks to data it’s possible to make consumption previsions and generate a profit.
Also in the medical field, the value of data is very important from a strategic point of view.
If you put together all data related to a patient it is possible to define more precise and reliable risk profiles.
Thanks to the study of health trajectories (which is the change in health status over time) it is possible to have information about individuals during their lifetime and not only during an illness, in order to adopt preventive measures.
In this context, one of the latest studies was conducted by the Leroy group for the Seattle Institute of Biology, monitoring about one hundred people during 9 months. Many information has been gathered about the cardiovascular system, the risks of diabetes, health, stress, genetic and proteomic measures, also thanks to sensors that patients have carried on themselves. We are increasingly connected and we collect lots of important data. In this scenario, in addition to computing power, data storage becomes essential. Cloud technology is always a very good solution but it’s important to consider data availability, access and reuse, balancing research needs with those of privacy.