The health sector produces vast quantities of data, much of which is unfortunately underused or misused as this Guardian article reports. This is all the more worrying because health is surely one of the areas where big data — if it used in the right ways — can have the greatest impact on people’s lives.
Here in the UK, the NHS is making a lot of data available through its Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSIC) and its Indicators Portal. This is undoubtedly a step in the right direction but these figures and spreadsheets are often hard to interpret.
We had a go at making more sense of some of that valuable data by creating an interactive data visualization of GP appointment waiting times in London. Not only does it make that data easy to interpret, you can also use it to see at which GP in your area your are the least likely to wait for a long time before an appointment. We were amazed by the large differences between practices sometimes very close together. Here is a preview of what it looks like: