Joe Biden: Big data could assist cancer research

Big data is making a huge difference to a number of companies and industries, allowing professionals to handle data more effectively than ever before and gather fascinating new insights. 

As the number of devices capable of connecting online increases, it is vital that companies find ways of interpreting data that can help to improve their products and services. Sectors such as marketing, retail and insurance have already reaped the benefits of big data. 

However, one area that is perhaps understated is how the technology could help to improve research into diseases, particularly cancer. Vice-president of the US Joe Biden recently met up with healthcare specialists in Utah and explained how a better approach for sharing information will be necessary in order for new treatments to be realised. 

How has big data helped to treat cancer?

Speaking to The Spectrum, Mr Biden emphasised how big data is helping to trace genetic and environmental factors that influence the disease, giving practitioners new knowledge that can be used to enhance their understanding. 

Mary Beckerle, Huntsman Institute CEO, told the news provider: “Half of those folks who succumb to cancer succumb to a cancer that could have been prevented. I think there's a really important emphasis to treat cancers that could have been prevented.”

Mr Biden has been visiting hundreds of doctors in a bit to improve federal engagement on curing cancer. He visited Duke University earlier this month and is set to make an appearance at the University of California San Francisco today (February 29th). 

The work is part of the White House’s cancer “moonshot” initiative, which aims to improve the level of progress towards curing cancer. As well as providing $1 billion (£721,000) towards research, the government is hoping to generate new ideas for cancer treatment specialists across the country. 

President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $755 million for cancer research in the coming budget, which would be on top of the $195 million already given the green light by officials last year. 

What developments could occur in the coming years?

Big data is still growing in the market and many industries should be able to improve how they manage information and increase the quality of their products and services. 

In recent years, devices such as laptops, tablets and mobiles have all become key technologies for businesses as employees adopt more flexible ways of working and, with big data now introduced by many companies, there is more information for managers to decipher than ever before. 

As analytics technologies improve, companies can easily identify new ways of making money and producing better products and services. Big data allows organisations to easily gain insights from complex statistics and ensures that information is being used as effectively as possible. 

For causes such as cancer research, where thousands of documents have been created for organisations to look at, big data makes it easier than ever before to collate and understand information. Without it, sorting through large numbers of files and trying to extract insights from them can be a painstaking process. 

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