We are on the cusp of major changes in health monitoring and care. Google and other companies with lots of experience in collecting and learning from data appear ready to step into this domain. A myriad of technologies, from implantable medical devices (such as defibrillators and pacemakers) to fit trackers, smart watches, and smartphones already capture our health data and lifestyle choices.
The potential benefits from applying machine-learning analytics in health care are enormous. Based on a study of a year’s worth of hospital admissions, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimated that 4.4 million of those admissions in the United States, totaling $30.8 billion in costs, could have been prevented.