Growth of Big Data in Asia-Pacific Presents Opportunities and Challenges 

Singapore—September 5, 2016—The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) second plenary session for the Society’s 7th Asia-Pacific ConferenceHarnessing the Power of Big Data to Make Better Health Care Decisions in the Asia-Pacific Region—was held this morning in Singapore.

Louisa Jorm, PhD, Professor and Director, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia moderated the session. Speakers included:

  • Christopher Chute, MD, DrPH, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Informatics, Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing, and Chief Health Research Information Officer, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Yoke Sin Chong, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Integrated Health Information Systems Pte Ltd, Singapore, Singapore
  • Trish Williams, PhD, Professor and Chair of Digital Health Technologies, Finders University, Adelaide, Australia

Plenary 2 focused on how many health systems in Asia-Pacific are embracing the big data movement with speakers addressing big data from a variety of health care stakeholder viewpoints and regional perspectives.

Louisa Jorm, PhD set the stage for by remarking on the growth in health care data availability and use. While the amount of health care data in Asia-Pacific relative to the Western world is somewhat lagging, it is developing rapidly. This growing availability of health care information has provided the opportunity to combine data from different sources and has created a strong demand for data scientists. Christopher Chute, MD, DrPH emphasized the importance of consistency, comparability, and sharing of data sources to allow for more comprehensive research. Dr. Chute offered a number of examples from other sciences as well as from the development of the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) and the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems ICD-11 criteria in health care. Yoke Sin Chong, PhD, described how her company, Integrated Health Information Systems, provides health care information and analytics to over 40,000 users in and around Singapore by partnering with other health care organizations in the region. Trish Williams, PhD discussed how the optimal use of big data requires “convergence disruption”—embracing the many new ways that health data are being collected and analyzed, while dealing with the variety of challenges that such data present. Dr. Williams concluded that, “the digital revolution in medicine has just begun; the availability of data will change how health care will be seen.”

Additional information on the ISPOR 7th Asia-Pacific Conference can be found here. Interested parties can follow news and developments from the conference on social media using the hashtag #ISPORsingapore.


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