IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Big Data and Health Economics: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats


  • Brendan Collins

    () (University of Liverpool Management School)


Abstract ‘Big data’ is the collective name for the increasing capacity of information systems to collect and store large volumes of data, which are often unstructured and time stamped, and to analyse these data by using regression and other statistical techniques. This is a review of the potential applications of big data and health economics, using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) approach. In health economics, large pseudonymized databases, such as the planned programme in the UK, have the potential to increase understanding of how drugs work in the real world, taking into account adherence, co-morbidities, interactions and side effects. This ‘real-world evidence’ has applications in individualized medicine. More routine and larger-scale cost and outcomes data collection will make health economic analyses more disease specific and population specific but may require new skill sets. There is potential for biomonitoring and lifestyle data to inform health economic analyses and public health policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Brendan Collins, 2016. "Big Data and Health Economics: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 101-106, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:pharme:v:34:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s40273-015-0306-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s40273-015-0306-7

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. My quality-adjusted life year
      by Bren Collins in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2019-03-07 07:00:07

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:pharme:v:34:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s40273-015-0306-7. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.