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An Emerging Era of Big Data (in Mental Health too)

We just came accross an excel­lent arti­cle by Dr. Thomas Insel, Direc­tor of the Nation­al Insti­tute for Men­tal Health (NIMH), titled An Emerg­ing Era of Big Data. The arti­cle is brief and worth read­ing. Here are two quotes:

- “Every era has its tech­no­log­i­cal icons. In the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, it was the air­plane and the auto­mo­bile. In the mid-20th cen­tu­ry, it was the tele­vi­sion and the tele­phone. Now in the ear­ly 21st cen­tu­ry, the smart phone and social net­work­ing appear to be the defin­ing tech­nolo­gies. And increas­ing­ly, the cur­rent era is begin­ning to look like the era of “big data” — a term that refers to the explo­sion of avail­able infor­ma­tion, a byprod­uct of the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion.”

- “The men­tal health com­mu­ni­ty has been slow­er to join this rev­o­lu­tion, but this could change. It just requires a pas­sion to share infor­ma­tion, a capac­i­ty to devel­op data repos­i­to­ries, and a vision for turn­ing indi­vid­ual data into col­lec­tive knowl­edge. We have some unique chal­lenges in the men­tal health com­mu­ni­ty: lack of a cen­tral orga­ni­za­tion, incon­sis­tent qual­i­ty of infor­ma­tion, and in some cas­es, a denial of ill­ness. But — as we are see­ing in areas as diverse as robot­ics and base­ball — big data has a way of over­com­ing big chal­lenges. In fact, big data may be the solu­tion for a field that has been lack­ing in met­rics of per­for­mance or suc­cess.”

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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