Social media technology connects the dots in the healthcare experience

Few things are as simultaneously fascinating and disturbing as going onto a social media application such as Facebook or LinkedIn and seeing it present a suggested list of potential connections. It can be disconcerting to think that a bunch of algorithms could so accurately predict that out of billions of users these are actually people you might consider a friend. Or that because you liked “Whiplash” you might be interested in these other videos that other fans of that movie enjoyed.

Yet the same core social media technology that seems to understand the most intimate details about your childhood, current relationships and other interests holds great promise for transforming healthcare by finally showing how all the data are related. 

It’s called the graph database. Designed specifically to interpret relationships between different sets of data, the graph database is the foundational technology that allows social media applications, as well as companies such as Amazon, to build sophisticated social networks around each account owner. For instance, it’s what enables us to look at our friends’ friends and navigate through their interests and connections.

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electronic medical records, EMRs, graph database, HIMSS, HIMSS'16, NextGate, patient data, social media

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