Modern healthcare with the help of big data


Progressing digitalisation is making the correct handling of increasing data volumes ever more important. Even now, companies are struggling with the rapid rise in the volume of information they are having to deal with. But this not only affects business, it is also having an impact on the healthcare sector – because in the meantime it has also been hit by a veritable data tsunami. Big data technologies can help cope with this tidal wave of information, allowing users to become professional data wave surfers – and preventing them from drowning. 

General practitioners, hospitals, laboratories, research facilities and the pharmaceuticals industry – they all generate huge amounts of heterogeneous data each and every day. This includes medical data such as disease progression, laboratory results and public health data from health departments and ministries at regional and national levels. Add to this insurance company data, research findings and pharmaceuticals data such as the composition of medicines. All this information is expedient data for big data applications in healthcare. In addition to this, there is also personal data, such as pain and dietary logs, and non-standard healthcare data, such as emotional states and information from social networks. Classical data analyses no longer suffice, as the data volumes are too large and analysis consequently takes too long. In part, the data is also unstructured; for instance, in the form of hand-written doctors’ letters and prescriptions. However, new information and communications technologies, such as electronic health cards or various healthcare apps are increasing efficiency and transparency within the sector. Findings from this heterogeneous data can be determined faster using these new technologies. And epidemic prognoses can also be created on the basis of these data analyses. Forecasts on the scale, speed and spread of epidemics or pandemics can be drafted using real-time analyses from international trade flows or flight paths in conjunction with current waves of disease. Furthermore, various data also helps with the analysis of the causes, development and spread of physical and mental diseases with a focus on the population or individual segments of the population.
Here, the quality of the data and its provision and publication is of particular importance. Because the demand for standardised data within the healthcare sector is high, as non-standardised information causes additional costs within the supply chain – in other words, more costs for distributors, clinic operators, pharmaceutical companies and other manufacturers. This data also restricts smooth planning, production and distribution processes and creates additional work and costs. As a result, mistakes happen faster or staff draw on old or insufficient data and information. These can be remedied with modern and flexible product information management (PIM) systems that provide support when compiling and maintaining data and permit access to uniform data and information. The long-standing developer and expert pirobase imperia GmbH carries out its data enhancement using a centralised PIM system. The system automatically assumes the creation of new articles and master data, while structuring complex information results in increased transparency. Furthermore, it enables the management of image data and company-specific product information on a single platform. Product information is now only entered once, reducing overall costs. All users are immediately informed in the event of changes and can then process these in a targeted manner. Validation also prevents the publication of incomplete data. Many authorities demand seamless documentation of all products, procedures, software and all technical systems deployed within healthcare, for example. Here, unambiguous designations for medical devices are important to ensure the tracking of the individual devices along the entire supply chain. As players within the healthcare sector are frequently major international corporations, products are used in many different countries. For international deployment, suppliers such as pirobase imperia offer the provision of information in several languages and multilingual user interfaces. Parent company products in English, for example, can be translated into the respective language and local products subsequently added.
Big data technologies meanwhile permit even larger poly-structured data volumes to be evaluated in real time. Real-time data analysis is essential in the case of time-critical situations such as initial diagnosis in ambulances. Open data analyses can be used to compare treatment methods and the pathologies of patients with other data relating to the same pathologies, hence enabling treatment to be optimised. Here, the challenge is to bring the interests of doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in line with the information self-determination rights of patients. This includes depicting the purpose of the data analyses as comprehensively, transparently and comprehensibly as possible. Clinical staff working in various areas within a clinic have extremely fast access to highly confidential data on jointly-used workstations. And staff can also access various data on devices such as tablets, ensuring they provide their patients with the best possible care. This results in shorter waiting times and better results. Furthermore, doctors do not need paper or X-ray images and do not have to copy data. But data security must be ensured at all times. Using the pirobase imperia PIM system, for instance, role and rights concepts enable secure ring-fencing of the work areas of various users. This ensures that confidential data only reaches the relevant clinic staff.
But validated product data is also especially important for the sale of products from pharmaceutical companies or medical technology suppliers, as well as for public image purposes. Always having up to date product information and defined attributes in distribution channels, shop links and print outputs results in the most accurate depiction and hence better marketing. As a simultaneous provider of PIM and CMS systems, pirobase imperia GmbH has dovetailed both systems in the form of pirobase Commerce. Validated product data from a PIM system can be expanded by editors in a CMS to include emotional content, which additionally provides SEO.


As a content management and product information management software provider with more than 20 years of experience, pirobase imperia GmbH offers innovative solutions for enterprise, medium-sized and public institutions in the form of comprehensive services from a single source. Here, the company regards itself a strategic content management partner for complex business environments with superlative design competence for providing cross-interface e-business, e-commerce and cross-channel information and contents for all conceivable sales channels.

pirobase imperia GmbH

Picture credit: Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s