If you’ve ever been to an intensive care unit you may have noticed that they are full of monitors. Each one is critical in examining a patient’s health, from the electrical conduction of their heart to the oxygen concentration of their blood. What’s not wondered, and very much should be, is, what happens to all the data produced by these monitors?
In the past, there was nothing to do with it. Massive hard drives didn’t exist. The cloud didn’t exist. But now that technology allows us to store huge amounts of data, the information can no longer be thoughtlessly discarded. Now the data is being wasted. Wasted data is a wasted opportunity. Proper use of this information can teach the systems the dynamics associated with patient degeneration, alerting the attending physician when it is detected. That represents a considerable coup in the fight to free up the time of hospital staff while maintaining services for patients.