Big data and clinical research: focusing on the area of critical care medicine in mainland China

Zhongheng Zhang


Big data has long been found its way into clinical practice since the advent of information technology era. Medical records and follow-up data can be more efficiently stored and extracted with information technology. Immediately after admission a patient immediately produces a large amount of data including laboratory findings, medications, fluid balance, progressing notes and imaging findings. Clinicians and clinical investigators should make every effort to make full use of the big data that is being continuously generated by electronic medical record (EMR) system and other healthcare databases. At this stage, more training courses on data management and statistical analysis are required before clinicians and clinical investigators can handle big data and translate them into advances in medical science. China is a large country with a population of 1.3 billion and can contribute greatly to clinical researches by providing reliable and high-quality big data.