Big Data and Learning Analytics in health and medical education applications

Big data y analítica del aprendizaje en aplicaciones de salud y educación médica
Marcela Juliana Peñaloza Báeza

a Dirección General de Cómputo y de Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México

Recibido el 15 de septiembre de 2017; aceptado el 15 de noviembre de 2017

Palabras Clave

Big data; Analítica del aprendizaje; Procesamiento de datos automatizado; Análisis de datos; Toma de decisiones


Big Data; Learning Analytics; Automatic data processing; Data analysis; Decision making


Big Data and Learning Analytics are tools that allow to take advantage of enormous amounts of data that exist in digital format, and that are generated during the provision of health services and when digital platforms are incorporated into the teaching-learning process in the training of doctors. The objective is to design projects that exploit the advantages of current technical capabilities for the automated processing of data in large volumes and different formats, to seek their understanding and improve decision making. The associations, patterns and trends that can emerge from the analysis of data generated in medical education can facilitate the tracking and even modeling of student behavior, and shape its performance. With Big Data and Learning Analytics it is possible to transform large amounts of data into very high quality information. The above is an area that can be exploited by the medical educator, who knows the information that is available and what can be obtained through alliances and legal agreements, based on a problem that needs to be solved; technical support is needed but at all times, the direction of the project corresponds to the professional who has defined the problem, because he/she knows the frame of reference and the possible actions to take with the findings and ideas that arise. Certainly infrastructure is required but with the possibilities for working in the cloud and the resources available in medical institutions and higher education, projects can start from a first level of hardware and software, and scale to more sophisticated platforms when the combination of findings in the data and the volumes to be processed justify it. Without a doubt, Big Data and Learning Analytics are tools in which the medical educator should pay attention.