The Effectiveness of Big Data in Health Care: A Systematic Review

  • Panorea Gaitanou
  • Emmanouel Garoufallou
  • Panos Balatsoukas
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 478)


There is a consensus among scientists that the analysis of Big Data in health care (such as electronic health records, patient reported outcomes or in-motion data) can improve clinical research and the quality of care provided to patients. Yet there is little knowledge about the actual effectiveness of Big Data in the health care sector. The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review of the literature in order to determine the extent to which Big Data applications in health care systems have managed to improve patient experiences and clinicians’ behavior as well as the quality of care provided to patients. All searches for relevant articles were performed in the PubMed database. From the 108 potentially relevant articles 12 satisfied the inclusion criteria for this study. The findings showed that in the case of nine articles the researchers reported positive effect of Big Data. However, some negative results were recorded in the case of three articles. The main benefits of Big Data application involved positive behavior change, improved usability and efficient decision support. However, problems were identified for technology acceptance. Most problems occurred in the case of systems processing heterogeneous datasets, patient reported outcomes and in motion data, as opposed to electronic health record systems. The paper concludes by highlighting some areas of investigation where further research is needed to understand the use of Big Data in health care and improve its effectiveness.


Health Informatics Big Data Electronic Health Records Effectiveness 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panorea Gaitanou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emmanouel Garoufallou
    • 3
  • Panos Balatsoukas
    • 4
  1. 1.Database & Information Systems Group (DBIS), Laboratory on Digital Libraries and Electronic Publishing, Department of Archives, Library Science and Museum StudiesIonian UniversityCorfuGreece
  2. 2.Benaki Museum LibraryAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of Library Science and Information SystemsAlexander Technological Educational Institute (ATEI) of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.HeRC, University of ManchesterUK

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