Big Data Use Cases: Fighting Against Traumatic Brain Injuries

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Big Data Use Cases: Fighting Against Traumatic Brain Injuries

Measure, predict, prevent: harnessing the power of big data to fight against traumatic brain injuries.

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Measure, predict, prevent: fighting brain injury with the power of big data

Big Data is continuing to transform human life, and its impact on healthcare has been nothing short of revolutionary. Although big data in healthcare is experiencing a massive boom, some areas of medicine are benefiting from it the most. Healthcare providers are exploring the potential of Big Data playing a bigger role in the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).

It’s estimated that 2.8 million people in the United States sustain TBI annually. Out of this total, 50,000 die as a result, and 282,000 are hospitalized; hospitals are seeking new ways to fight this problem.

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Big data companies are now working with neurosurgery departments to prevent brain injury complications during procedures. Just recently, IBM teamed up Excel Medical Electronics to develop software that assists doctors and researchers. Using predictive analysis, this software measures the risk of a patient’s brain pressure rising before it even happens.

The processor-intensive product of Excel and IBM monitors thousands of data points on each patient. Data points are collected by bedside equipment at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center. The platform, based on IBM’s InfoSphere Stream Software, creates a predictive alarm. The purpose of this alarm is to notify doctors when there’s a rise in intracranial pressure.

The tech sector is keeping close eyes on these developments, as there is an opportunity for extraordinary progress. Martin Reynolds, the owner of the blog name generator, NamoBot, is excited about big data helping TBI patients — “Big data, analysis, and AI have shown immense potential in the healthcare sector. Medicine, as we know it, can change for the better with the help of big data”. 

The Head Injury Institute (HII)

In 2013, the American College of Radiology (ACR) launched the Head Injury Institute (HII) to integrate practice information and science. HII works with caregivers and researchers of TBI to increase patient care through knowledge sharing, standardization, and research.

Currently, the institute is working on Head Injury Imaging Reporting and Data System (HI-RADS). This initiative seeks to standardize the reporting and data collection of imaging in patients that suffer from TBI.

HI-RADS will assist the radiology community in applying consistent terminology associated with a diagnosis of TBI, improve communication with referring clinicians, decrease variability and errors in imaging interpretation, improve patient outcomes, and facilitate quality assurance and research.

HII hopes to offer computer-aided diagnosis by utilizing a large dataset of images. These images can speed up the diagnosis process and help in offering a more vigorous form of care for a patient’s head injury. Doctors can employ aided diagnosis to verify their findings across a substantial data set.

Future Implications

Big data can also play a role in helping researchers grasp TBIs better. By collecting data at a large scale, one can analyze the likelihood of recovery and the overall impact of the injury on the patient.

Going ahead, systems powered by big data can examine large treatment dataset to predict the appropriate treatment for patients with anterograde amnesia.   These systems can also recommend a blend of treatments based on comparable images and injuries.

Although no two head injuries are similar, big data can decrease the gap between what doctors know about brain injuries and why some patient are more resistant to these injuries. And not to forget, big data can determine the risk of TBI in professional sports and diagnose head injuries that often go unnoticed.

With big data collaborating with the healthcare sector, the fight against traumatic brain injuries will rage on.

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