Data mining is a growing and explosive field, stemming from sudden availability of the massive wealth of data accessible through the internet.
It’d be interesting to have a database compilation of all of my medical history, but this would demand the strictest level of privacy, as compared with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, altogether.
In fact, this idea stemmed from reading Haak’s article from Science magazine where the authors discussed the benefits of mining data in order to make them accessible to other researchers across multiple disciplines and many borders around the globe. Different countries have their own regulations as to which restrict access to specific data sets in order to maintain privacy and security, which can be challenging, since data can be compared against many different other groups of data for a specific translation of a scientific question. In determining levels of accessibility, it’s important to involve groups of private and public data within the local and international level. Although there are prominent databases that store and mine data such as CERIF, the responsibility and authority of maintaining such database infrastructure should be shared among several stakeholders in order to ensure that the balance the availability of data among maintaining privacy on a global scale in order to allow policy-makers ensuring informed decisions within their areas or countries. In order to do this, an international standardization of data exchange is necessary.
Reading Davenport’s article within the Harvard Business Review discussed the benefits and thrills of surfing the data mine harvested from many on-line profiles and usages, thus structuring the wealth of data in order to capitalize the large data. The discoveries within the translation of data lead to solid executive decision-making. In this case, I’m the top executive in my life and always have the need of making informed decisions throughout the day.
Of course, I’d expect complete access into my health data and my ancestor’s health data, while restricted to nearly everyone else in order to research into the gene-related developments that has occurred over the generations and what health issues I can watch for as I age gracefully. Also this information will be helpful for my future generations. Lesser restrictive access would afford professional researchers the luxury of investigating my phenotypic information such as hair or eye color for others to research into the correlations of populations, environment, specific family history, and genetic information in order to postulate how I had derived a specific characteristic or trait. Also, predictive environmental factors such as temperature and pressure within a geographical region, coupled with my health information can predict onset of arthritis within specific times, for example.
A question remains is the expiration date of the restriction of access into families’ health information after they have passed on. Also, the level of access may vary among specific group of people such as my healthcare providers, which would be different than the insurance companies and employers. Perhaps the creation of Health Data Scientist education and training can involve creation of specific certification equivalent to doctors and attorneys in which they are expected to maintain strict client or patient confidentiality and only focused on the needs of the clients and patients. Of course, ethics in sharing personal health data with loved ones or potential mates for predicting outcomes of interaction will need to be debated considerably.
As with sealing records though the courts, perhaps specific health data can be sealed by the patient while allowing access to other health information with particulars generally already available while allowing certain family members additional access to less generalized health data.
Having a centralized and global database would contribute to the health of my travels such as keeping immunization records current while allowing healthcare providers in other countries access, should I become ill overseas. In this case it’s possible to harmonize specific access to certain health database among various countries, depending on the control of the database. It’ll be like a “health passport” whenever I am in the world. If possible, this could be easily accessible through international apps program on the mobile devices with dual band capability.
Later on, with my current genotypes, it’d be interesting to account the environment within other areas or countries in order to virtually translate the predicted phenotypes such as air quality affecting my exercise routine, while would result in asthmatic symptoms, for example. Additionally, this daily health monitoring device while accounting for the environmental factors can be managed through a mobile device.
In summary, there is extreme wealth of information for extrapolating correlations and make sold predictions, which can assist with decision making throughout the days and weeks to come. The whole point is taking the steps in mining data effectively through intelligent management while everyone adheres to the same guidelines for access everywhere.
Davenport, T. and Patil, D. Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century. October 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012 from http://hbr.org/2012/10/data-scientist-the-sexiest-job-of-the-21st-century/ar/1
Haak, L., Baker, D., Ginther, D., Gordon, G. Probus, M., Kannankutty, N., Weinberg, B. Standards and Infrastructure for Innovation Data Exchange. Science 12 October 2012: 196-197. Retrieved October 16, 2012 from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6104/196.full.pdf