Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Big data: What is it and why is it important?

Article
By analysing information on social media such as Twitter, big data could for example predict the outbreak of an epidemic.
Share this

Analysing geographic patterns of people tweeting something vague such as: "In bed with fever" and "weird spots on my skin" may allow health authorities to identify epidemics much faster than being notified by doctors and hospitals.

Nowadays everyone talks about 'big data'. But what is it and what makes it so important? Why does the EU care about big data? And what is the EU doing about it? Read it here.

Prof. Edwin Morley-Fletcher, one of the experts of the EU-funded MD-PAEDIGREE project, would like big data to be accepted in standard healthcare, but he sees many  challenges: "In order to bring about the revolution in healthcare that modern IT promises, there are legal, technical and cultural/societal barriers that must be overcome".

For the ICT 2013 conference in Vilnius, the Italian professor wrote a discussion paper on big data in healthcare, which you can find below.