10 Aug 2022


Big Data: Functions, Benefits, and Use Cases

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 544

Pages: 2

Downloads: 0

Under the current technological advances, some sectors, such as healthcare, collect a massive amount of information. The information is collected using medical applications that track patients via their electronic health records. Due to the detailed information collected and the massive number of data collected from patients, the result is data that healthcare cannot analyze using traditional means. Big data relies on cloud computing, software as service, and machine learning to analyze data. Big data is useful as it can aid in decision-making. However, according to Ebeling (2016), the data often ends up in the hands of data brokers or people who want to use it to make money without consideration for the patients' right to the data. 

Ebeling (2016) says that the primary function of big data is to generate profit for data brokers, although the intention for policymakers in mandating data collection could have been different. Based on American laws such as HIPAA, data brokers have access to data. Still, they have to de-identify it, which is a process of removing identifying information from data collected from patients. Once the data is collected from patients, it is handed over to brokers, who include the government and private companies, in an opaque manner, and then turned into a commodity for various purposes, such as aiding research in universities or sold to the marketing companies that desire to make their efforts highly targeted. Therefore, for patients unable to get children naturally or get complications when doing so, they get targeted marketing messages from companies selling products for such people. 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

While the government intended that patient data to guide decision-making and improve healthcare outcomes, the article notes that is not happening. Instead, data entrepreneurs are using the information for their benefit. Information such as patient emails, the conditions they are suffering from, the drugs they use, credit cards, among other information, it useful to marketers. Shrewd marketers are using the data to make a profit at the expense of the welfare of patients. Physicians and other workers in healthcare are unwitting collaborators in this data enterprise. The patient never benefits, but he is a victim of a conspiracy where the law ostensibly tries to protect data, but that does not happen in practice. 

What is one takeaway from your reading that can help the class create a plausible conspiracy theory? 

The main takeaway is that the law on data collection via electronic records and data protection is broken. While HIPAA is strict on data collection and protection by healthcare professionals, the law is lax on what happens after that stage. Consequently, because the law mandates de-identification, once the data is “cleaned,” it is free for trade by all types of data brokers. The government is itself actively used in that trade. In writing various data protection laws, it is obvious the government might have conspired with data brokers to give an appearance of data protection and privacy to hoodwink the public but use the data in ways the public cannot conceptualize. 

The players in the conspiracy are the government and big industry represented by data brokers. The pharmaceutical industry is, for instance, able to access patient data for research purposes and drug development easily. Marketers get highly sensitive data such as credit cards, and conditions patients are suffering so they can track people based on their diseases. Such tracking is highly unethical, and technology companies have attracted anger by doing precisely want data brokers and big business do with electronic patient records. How data brokers escape without attention from the government could only lead keen observers to conclude that the government is conspiring with the brokers. 


Ebeling, M. (2016). Healthcare and Big Data: Digital Specters and Phantom 

Objects . New York: Palgrave Macmillan 

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Big Data: Functions, Benefits, and Use Cases.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

17 Sep 2023

Group Facilitation: Engagement and Authority

PART1 This was a part of the first group therapy session of a group of individuals. The group had both men and women of different backgrounds and personalities. The observation parameters that govern this sort...

Words: 883

Pages: 3

Views: 123

17 Sep 2023

Micro Client System

Discussion 1 In my career as a social worker, I have worked with client systems of all sizes. In their career and daily work, social workers interact with all client systems in assisting individuals suffering...

Words: 789

Pages: 3

Views: 176

17 Sep 2023

Food Policy and Habits

The survival of human being depends on the food. Globally, food is known to be more than a source of nutrients and energy for human well-being. The food we eat, how we eat, who we eat with, when we eat, and what we...

Words: 382

Pages: 1

Views: 148

17 Sep 2023

Culture, Ethnocentrism, and Cultural Relativism

Since the middle Stone Age, human beings are considered as social creatures, from those days people have identified and associated with each other as a community to live and survive. Common behavior and habits unite...

Words: 1321

Pages: 5

Views: 72

17 Sep 2023

Client Population and Problem Addressed by the Program

A considerable number of Americans are not consuming the right amount of vegetables and fruits. As of 2013, about 13% of the entire USA population was consuming the required daily intake of fruits (one and a half to...

Words: 1367

Pages: 4

Views: 155

17 Sep 2023

Community Observation: How to Get Started

The meeting attended was a legislative meeting of the Board of Directors of the School District of Cheltenham Township. The meeting was held on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at 7:16p.m in the Administration Building,...

Words: 1513

Pages: 5

Views: 115


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.