Addressing the Complexities of Big Data Analytics in Healthcare: The Diabetes Screening Case

Daswin De Silva, Frada Burstein, Herbert F. Jelinek, Andrew Stranieri


The healthcare industry generates a high throughput of medical, clinical and omics data of varying complexity and features. Clinical decision-support is gaining widespread attention as medical institutions and governing bodies turn towards better management of this data for effective and efficient healthcare delivery and quality assured outcomes. Amass of data across all stages, from disease diagnosis to palliative care, is further indication of the opportunities and challenges to effective data management, analysis, prediction and optimization techniques as parts of knowledge management in clinical environments. Big Data analytics (BDA) presents the potential to advance this industry with reforms in clinical decision-support and translational research. However, adoption of big data analytics has been slow due to complexities posed by the nature of healthcare data. The success of these systems is hard to predict, so further research is needed to provide a robust framework to ensure investment in BDA is justified. In this paper we investigate these complexities from the perspective of updated Information Systems (IS) participation theory. We present a case study on a large diabetes screening project to integrate, converge and derive expedient insights from such an accumulation of data and make recommendations for a successful BDA implementation grounded in a participatory framework and the specificities of big data in healthcare context.


big data analytics; health informatics; clinical decision support; translational research; business analytics; information fusion

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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