Big data for bipolar disorder.
Monteith S., Glenn T., Geddes J., Whybrow PC., Bauer M.
The delivery of psychiatric care is changing with a new emphasis on integrated care, preventative measures, population health, and the biological basis of disease. Fundamental to this transformation are big data and advances in the ability to analyze these data. The impact of big data on the routine treatment of bipolar disorder today and in the near future is discussed, with examples that relate to health policy, the discovery of new associations, and the study of rare events. The primary sources of big data today are electronic medical records (EMR), claims, and registry data from providers and payers. In the near future, data created by patients from active monitoring, passive monitoring of Internet and smartphone activities, and from sensors may be integrated with the EMR. Diverse data sources from outside of medicine, such as government financial data, will be linked for research. Over the long term, genetic and imaging data will be integrated with the EMR, and there will be more emphasis on predictive models. Many technical challenges remain when analyzing big data that relates to size, heterogeneity, complexity, and unstructured text data in the EMR. Human judgement and subject matter expertise are critical parts of big data analysis, and the active participation of psychiatrists is needed throughout the analytical process.