Tag Archives: Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing Medical Decisions – Putting Big Data to Work in Healthcare

The widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) is a key objective of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. With the pervasive use of EHRs, an enormous volume of clinical data will be readily accessible that has previously been locked away in paper charts. The potential value of this data to yield insights into what works in healthcare, and what doesn’t work, dwarfs the benefits of simply replacing a paper chart with an electronic system.  There’s appropriate enthusiasm that this data is going to be a veritable goldmine for enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence, and comparative effectiveness research. However, there are other, equally valuable, uses for this data to enhance clinical decision-making and improve the value of healthcare spending. Simply having instant access to large volumes of data that span thousands or tens-of-thousands of physicians, hundreds-of-thousands of patients and millions of encounters, offers an unparalleled opportunity to increase the quality and lower the cost of healthcare. (more…)

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Goldmines in Social Media: Capturing ‘Crowdsourcing’ Knowledge

One of the many interesting angles to Web 2.0 is the whole notion of “crowdsourcing” – in which organizations turn to social networks for knowledge and new business. What role can data warehousing play in this new approach, and what is needed to make this happen?

A few months back, I heard an example of the crowdsourcing model at work explained by Don Tapscott, co-author of Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. Don explained how Goldcorp, a mining company, was having problems finding new sources of gold to keep its business going.

The company’s in-house staff of geologists was unable to identify new sources with the information they had. The CEO took the drastic measure of opening up all the information it had on its primary mining site to the public, including geological data, and offered a $575,000 reward to anyone out on the net who could help locate new sources. Geologists and non-geologists alike offered information that led to new finds, helping the company grow from $90 million to $19 billion in assets as of the end of 2007. (more…)

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