Role and Challenges of Unstructured Big Data in Healthcare

  • Kiran AdnanEmail author
  • Rehan Akbar
  • Siak Wang Khor
  • Adnan Bin Amanat Ali
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1042)


Unprecedented growth in the volume of unstructured healthcare data has immense potential in valuable insight extraction, improved healthcare services, quality patient care, and secure data management. However, technological advancements are required to achieve the potential benefits from unstructured data in healthcare according to the growth rate. The heterogeneity, diversity of sources, quality of data and various representations of unstructured data in healthcare increases the number of challenges as compared to structured data. This systematic review of the literature identifies the challenges and problems of data-driven healthcare due to the unstructured nature of data. The systematic review was carried out using five major scientific databases: ACM, Springer, ScienceDirect, PubMed, and IEEE Xplore. The inclusion of articles in review at the initial stage was based on English language and publication date from 2010 to 2018. A total of 103 articles were selected according to the inclusion criteria. Based on the review, various types of healthcare unstructured data have been discussed from different domains of healthcare. Also, potential challenges associated with unstructured big data have been identified in healthcare for future research directions in the technological advancement of healthcare services and quality patient care.


Unstructured data Healthcare Big data Systematic literature review Challenges of healthcare data 



This research is funded by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) under the UTAR Research Fund (UTARRF): IPSR/RMC/UTARRF/2017-C1/R02.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiran Adnan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rehan Akbar
    • 1
  • Siak Wang Khor
    • 1
  • Adnan Bin Amanat Ali
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Information and Communication TechnologyUniversiti Tunku Abdul RahmanKamparMalaysia

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