How Big Data Can Protect Health Care

In any conversation about the "cost of health care these days" the conversation eventually turns toward fraud. Erroneous or flat out fraudulent claims get blamed for a myriad of health-care woes and cost overruns. Preventing fraud is a clarion call for countless medical facilities and health-care providers as well as insurers. Fortunately, Big Data is already working on ways to reduce and eventually eliminate health-care fraud. Here's how:

With the advent of online health records, remote care and other services offered online, there is an endless supply of new data being generated. Big Data allows doctors, hospitals and insurers to safely capture, catalog and utilize that information to offer better customer care and more efficient operations.

Of course, there is a downside.

All that available data can become a flashing neon sign to hackers, fraudsters, and other nefarious types. Technology offers them ways to access it, but, fortunately, evolving data technology also offers better protections, preventions and, in the case of a breach, prosecutions.

One of the ways Big Data is being employed in the medical industry is to ferret out and prevent fraud before it happens. Analytics can "find" and "reveal" potential problems before they happen, track suspicious activity and stop perpetrators before they ply their criminal trade.

Fraud mitigation is just one of the ways Big Data is benefitting the modern medical and insurance industries. Big Data is also helping to promote patient privacy. New technology allows medical providers to increase data protections and increase response rates in the event of a breach. Further, with more data being stored in easily accessible networks, physicians and researchers can offer better, faster, and more effective care.

Organizations across the entire medical field can also compare notes, share data and create powerful health tools without compromising patient privacy or data security. Many are already doing so, and, as more networks and organizations get involved the outlook for patients and providers only gets better.

David A. Steinberg is the CEO of Zeta Interactive, a Big Data and Customer Lifestyle marketing platform.