Widgets Magazine

Stanford Medicine releases inaugural Health Trends Report

Stanford Medicine recently published its inaugural Health Trends Report which outlined the effect of major trends facing the healthcare sector. Its comprehensive review revealed that the role of physicians as well as their relationships with patients will change in the near future due to the rapid advancements in technology and the rising cost of healthcare.

(Courtesy of Rahim Ullah)

The report, titled “Harnessing the Power of Data in Health,” is supported by research from Stanford faculty and external healthcare experts.

“By leveraging big data and scientific advancements while maintaining the important doctor-patient bond, we believe we can create a health system that will go beyond curing disease after the fact to preventing disease before it strikes by focusing on health and wellness,” wrote Lloyd Minor, the dean of the School of Medicine, in the introduction of the study.

To produce its findings, the report analyzed existing healthcare research and open-source data. Researchers found that big data is the most promising source for insight into the improvement of healthcare for patients. They emphasized that the wide sharing of data across hospitals in research is changing how doctors, healthcare teams and institutions work together. The report also described how the cost of healthcare will be maintained and how patient privacy and trust with doctors will be protected.

In order to realize the full potential of big data, researchers suggested that doctors and healthcare professionals must embrace the rapidly growing use of technology in the medical field and to use it to their advantage. This goal can be accomplished by teaching doctors to develop fluency in data analytics and by implementing big data processing systems within healthcare organizations. With these systems in place, doctors will be able to provide more personal patient care with better data management.

“Institutions like Stanford have a responsibility to drive advances in data management so that patients can be partners in their own care,” Minor told Stanford Medicine. “By leveraging big data, we can create a vision of health care that is more preventive, predictive, personalized and precise.”

Having access to a diverse array of data makes drug discoveries and clinical trials more efficient, and doctors will be able to build better patient profiles to predict and treat disease. However, there are still several challenges that the healthcare community must overcome in order to implement big data systems. The rising cost of the U.S. healthcare system could make these resources inaccessible to the public, and a secure storage platform is necessary to address data privacy issues.

Big data is becoming increasingly prevalent, and thus the report concluded that doctors and medical students need to be trained for a future in which big data will play an integral role in the healthcare sector.


Contact Angele Yang at angeleyanghmd ‘at’ gmail.com.