From Stars to Patients: Lessons from Space Science and Astrophysics for Health Care Informatics


Big Data are revolutionizing nearly every aspect of the modern society. One area where this can have a profound positive societal impact is the field of Health Care Informatics (HCI), which faces many challenges. The key idea behind this study is: can we use some of the experience and technical and methodological solutions from the fields that have successfully adapted to the Big Data era, namely astronomy and space science, to help accelerate the progress of HCI? We illustrate this with examples from the Virtual Observatory framework, and the NCI EDRN project. An effective sharing and reuse of tools, methods, and experiences from different fields can save a lot of effort, time, and expense. HCI can thus benefit from the proven solutions to big data challenges from other domains.