Incorporating life data into data collection has the potential to create better individual preventive interventions, such as personalized, genomics-based guidance on areas including nutrition and exercise. These, in turn, can increase the human health span over the coming years. The use of life data encourages healthcare that leans more on prevention, wellness and scientific advancement, which are key health themes of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging.
Life data, enhanced by technological innovations, can further create huge opportunities. The possibilities of digital transformation are endless, particularly at the crucial stage of data collection and analysis. And this is where ‘big data’ comes in – a term that describes our ability to understand the ever-increasing volumes of data in the world, used to analyze large numbers of medical records to predict diseases and improve treatment, among other things.
As our data-crunching ability grows and the devices that collect that data shrink to previously unimaginable sizes, the potential to collect and make sense of this data is huge. Big data could also lead to new approaches in prevention, early detection and treatment of disease throughout the world.
Data privacy, however, can’t be ignored in the present digital health landscape. This was acknowledged by the Human Project, which implemented extensive privacy safeguards to protect data, including multiple rounds of encryption and firewalls.