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Companies Analyse Big Data To Predict Who Will Get Sick

News. Companies are mining data about their employees to predict their individual health and recommend treatments. It is data about prescription drugs, they use, how they sh

op and if they vote. Experts in the article in Wall Street Journal say that our behaviour tell more about our health than our DNA; for example an employee who spends money at a bike shop is more likely to be in good health than someone who spends on video games.

Trying to stem rising health-care costs, some companies, including retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., are paying other firms to collect and crunch employee data to identify which workers are at risk for diabetes, and target them with personalized messages nudging them toward a doctor or services such as weight-loss programs.

“I bet I could better predict your risk of a heart attack by where you shop and where you eat than by your genome,” says Harry Greenspun, director of Deloitte LLP’s Center for Health Solutions, a research arm of the consulting firm’s health-care practice.

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