Technology Record - Issue 32: Spring 2024

135 VIEWPOINT Understanding health data The rapidly growing sets of data in the healthcare industry demand innovative, cloud-based solutions Healthcare is a data-driven sector, or at least it should be. Today, healthcare generates approximately 30 per cent of the world’s data volume and by 2025, RBC Capital Markets expects the compound annual growth rate of healthcare data to reach 36 per cent. That’s six per cent faster than the predicted growth of manufacturing data, 10 per cent faster than financial services, and 11 per cent faster than the media and entertainment industry. We are talking about petabytes of data produced by larger hospitals every year. Most healthcare data – around 80 per cent, according to estimates – is unstructured. This is primarily due to medical imaging but not limited to it. Pathology alone generates an enormous amount of data – estimated at up to 10,000 petabytes, globally. Digital pathology (DP), where virtual microscopy is used to create digitised specimen slides, is currently in the spotlight. This is a field with decades of history but is now rapidly gaining momentum; the growth of DP data is remarkable. And it’s not just about storage capacity, it’s also about accessibility and the transformative potential of artificial intelligence augmentation. Despite significant technological progress, the adoption of DP for routine clinical diagnostic use remains limited. A recent study published in the journal Digital Health provided temporal and geographical insights into the global adoption of DP by analysing published scientific literature. Analysis by continent reveals that the USA and several European countries – specifically, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France – are leading the way in DP. The generation of DP data at scale creates novel challenges for the pathology community in managing, processing and governing its use. In this context, the crucial aspect concerns legal and ethical issues, such as the need to ensure the protection of patient data and the continuity of operations with backed-up security or stored in protected locations, including secure cloud services. At Tiger Health Technology, we have a long-term commitment to solving these challenges. We are developing Health Bridge, a software platform for lifecycle management of unstructured medical data to support cloud and AI adoption. Health Bridge offers a hybrid approach with no disruption, no vendor lock-in, no complexity and significant cost optimisation in the implementation of digital pathology. It delivers real-time data and valuable insights regarding resource utilisation, cost predictability and data growth. Rosen Dimitrov, MD, is a healthcare advisor at Tiger Health Technology ROSEN DIMITROV, MD: TIGER HEALTH TECHNOLOGY PUBLIC SECTOR Pathology generates up to 10,000 petabytes of data each year