The research world is undergoing a transformation into one in which data, on massive levels, is freely shared. In the clinical world, the capture of data on a consistent basis has only recently begun. We propose an operational vision for a digitally based care system that incorporates data-based clinical decision making. The system would aggregate individual patient electronic medical data in the course of care; query a universal, de-identified clinical database using modified search engine technology in real time; identify prior cases of sufficient similarity as to be instructive to the case at hand; and populate the individual patient's electronic medical record with pertinent decision support material such as suggested interventions and prognosis, based on prior outcomes. Every individual's course, including subsequent outcomes, would then further populate the population database to create a feedback loop to benefit the care of future patients.
Keywords: big data; clinical informatics; decision support.