Two Thirds of Feds Say Big Data Will Improve Population Health Management and Preventative Care

MeriTalk Study Highlights Big Data Opportunity in Federal Healthcare

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--()--MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, today announced the results of its new report, “The Big Data Cure.” The study, underwritten by EMC Corporation, surveyed Federal executives focused on healthcare and healthcare research to examine the current state of Big Data in Federal healthcare. The report found that emerging technologies including mHealth1 and machine-to-machine (M2M)2 will fuel change. How will Big Data3 help impact the future of healthcare? Sixty-three percent of Federal healthcare executives say Big Data will help track and manage population health more efficiently, 62 percent say Big Data will significantly improve patient care within military health and VA systems, and 60 percent say Big Data will enhance the ability to deliver preventive care.

And, Feds point to mission impact. More than half, 59 percent, of Federal executives working in agencies with a healthcare-related mission say that in five years, fulfilling their agency’s mission objectives will depend on successfully leveraging Big Data.

Federal agencies focused on healthcare research and care delivery are testing the waters today. One in three say their agency has successfully launched at least one Big Data initiative – 35 percent use Big Data to improve patient care, 31 percent are reducing care costs, 28 percent are improving health outcomes, and 22 percent are increasing early detection.

This said, many agencies are not yet taking steps to prepare for the influx of data. Fewer than one in five say their agency is very prepared to work with Big Data, according to the MeriTalk study. Few have invested in IT systems/solutions to optimize data processing (34 percent), trained IT professionals to manage and analyze Big Data (29 percent), or educated senior management on Big Data issues (29 percent).

“Emerging mHealth and M2M technology will together create a new healthcare data deluge, and tremendous opportunity to improve efficiency and patient care,” said Dan Dougherty, vice president, EMC Federal. “DoD delivers healthcare to nearly 10 million people through TRICARE, and we know costs have been rising. Big Data analytics, mHealth, and M2M technology can make an impact in key areas including helping to more successfully manage chronic conditions with improved preventative care – monitoring and addressing symptoms before they become acute.”

“Forty-seven percent of Feds say the successful use of mHealth technologies and data has the potential to be more impactful than the discovery of penicillin,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk. “That’s a real shot in the arm for improving Federal healthcare.”

Feds anticipate M2M technologies will also have a significant impact. While just 15 percent of respondents say they have implemented M2M technologies today, 53 percent plan to do so within the next two years. Feds expect M2M technologies to have the greatest impacts on improving patient care and remote patient monitoring. Better data, in real time – will lead to better decisions. All of this can be achieved, but not without some trials and tribulations. Feds expect securing patient data will represent the biggest challenge with M2M technologies. Despite challenges, nine out of 10 respondents expect M2M technologies and data to have positive impacts across the healthcare industry.

“The Big Data Cure” is based on an online survey of 150 Federal executives focused on healthcare and healthcare research in January 2014. The report has a margin of error of +/- 7.95 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full study, please visit

About MeriTalk

The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Focusing on government’s hot-button issues, MeriTalk hosts Big Data Exchange, Cloud Computing Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange, and Data Center Exchange – platforms dedicated to supporting public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 85,000 government community contacts. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, @meritalk. MeriTalk is a 300Brand organization.

1 mHealth is the use of mobile and wireless devices to improve health outcomes, healthcare services, and health research

2 M2M technologies are any technologies used to collect, monitor, or store healthcare information without human intervention

3 Big Data is the voluminous amount of unstructured and semi-structured data an organization creates – data that would take too much time and cost too much money to load into a relational database for analysis


Whitney Bell, 703-883-9000 ext. 130

Release Summary

MeriTalk and EMC announced the results of its new report, The Big Data Cure. It surveyed Fed executives focused on healthcare to examine the current and future state of Big Data in Federal healthcare.


Whitney Bell, 703-883-9000 ext. 130