The reasons behind Big Data's rise

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Fiscal concerns are paramount in the rise of Big Data within healthcare, according to a recent McKinsey analysis, but clinical trends also play a role.

Healthcare expenses are now 17.6% of GDP—nearly $600 billion more than the expected benchmark for a nation of the United States's size and wealth, notes the consultancy, which did a regression analysis of countries' income and spending data.

Payors are seeking to clamp costs by shifting from fee-for-service compensation to risk-sharing arrangements that prioritize outcomes, as well as partnering with pharma and basing reimbursement on drugs' ability to improve health. McKinsey also cites the move toward evidence-based medicine, with its reliance on aggregating individual data sets into big-data algorithms.

Healthcare could soon catch up to other sectors in using Big Data, as first movers in the data sphere are already achieving positive results.

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