From retail and hospitality to manufacturing and the legal industry, big data has been radically changing the way decision makers work in all fields for the past few years, and healthcare is no exception.\nNow, many people would be quick to point out that medical research has always relied heavily on data analytics, and that\u2019s true. However, big data has made a slow creep into the rest of the healthcare system. To learn more, let\u2019s examine a few ways that big data is disrupting healthcare and how it's reshaping the future of healthcare. \u00a0\u00a0\nAlmost too much information\nThis is what it all boils down to. Data analytics is nothing new to healthcare, however, the amount of data and the variety of sources brought on by the smartphone, the smart home, and the \u201csmart age,\u201d if you will, has been a bit overwhelming. The potential lying dormant in those mountains of data has not gone unnoticed though.\nAs our data analytics software gets easier to use and becomes more intuitive thanks to breakthroughs in AI and deep learning, it\u2019s getting easier for healthcare providers to connect those massive piles of data and draw relevant conclusions from them. \u00a0\nPredictive analytics, preventative care\nMany, many years ago, Benjamin Franklin opined, \u201cAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.\u201d\nWhile he was referring to fire prevention, the quote holds weight in medicine. Simply put, preventing an illness (in theory) is easier than treating one, and easier to deal with from the patient perspective. Unfortunately, human beings generally aren\u2019t known for being overly concerned with health issues before they become a real problem (especially men \u2013 say what you will but the jury\u2019s in).\nThankfully, smart technology paired with big data analytics has the ability to bring preventative healthcare into focus and make it easier for providers and patients alike through the following:\nReal-time monitoring and the IoT\nThe modern human is a busy one, and while all of our smart technology is extremely convenient and improves our quality of life, it\u2019s also very distracting. There is no official statistic behind this statement, but, if you\u2019ve had to take medication for a week or more, you have forgotten to take a pill at least once. For most of us, monitoring our health doesn\u2019t always rank too high on the to-do list, and even when it does \u2013 oh, hang on, my phone just buzzed\u2026\nMy point is, it\u2019s easy to forget to take your medication. While that may not be a major problem if you\u2019re just dealing with the flu or a similar everyday illness, it can have major ramifications if, for example, you\u2019re diabetic. While big data can\u2019t solve the issue of real-time health monitoring by itself, big data combined with the internet of things can.\nAccording to the MapR Guide to Big Data in Healthcare, healthcare IoT spending is set to exceed $120 billion within the next four years. All of that information from wearable tech and smart monitoring devices will allow doctors to check in on their patients without a visit and set up alerts, so if a patient\u2019s glucose levels drop or they forget to take their medication, a reminder can be sent out automatically.\nFrom a patient perspective, increased continuity of care will be the most noticeable effect of big data. \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0\nFraud prevention\nFrom a healthcare or insurance provider perspective, one of the more noticeable changes brought on by the big data boom will be fraud prevention. Medical insurance fraud and prescription fraud have not always been easy crimes to identify, let alone prove. New data analytics software can automatically recognize red flags and suspicious patterns in health records to prevent fraud and prove that its happened when a crime occurs.\nBig data has made a widespread impact on the health industry, and it\u2019s only getting started. As the technology progresses and healthcare providers become more comfortable using it, the entire way we view the healthcare system will change. Doctors appointments will be replaced by video chats and automatic alerts, the emphasis on preventative care will continue to grow, and overall, our quality of life will improve. It may be a bumpy ride integrating big data into healthcare, but the destination will be worth it.