When you think about Big Data, your mind might immediately wander to floating clouds of numbers. That image wouldn't be entirely misguided: one of the biggest advantages of analytics is that you don't need to look at every single piece of paper to form actionable conclusions. That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't a physical side to Big Data.
One of the most common uses of this sort of technology is for fitness apps. Using a small, GPS-enabled device, you can track your runs, set the best possible pace and scope out goals that you want to achieve. The tracker can clip onto your body, and goes everywhere that you do. In this sense, it very much exists in the physical world. However, instead of you then having to painstakingly write out all of your times by hand, you can immediately have them uploaded and see exactly how much you're progressing.
This sort of custom web application development isn't just limited to runners, either. You can monitor your heart rate, test your temperature and even modulate your blood sugar with technologies that blend the physical sensation of wearing a device with the analytical power of databases.
These advancements could very well have a positive effect on the health care industry. Instead of having to wait for an appointment, or being forced to go through a long battery of tests, you could have your everyday actions automatically uploaded. If anything is amiss, the app could notify both you and your doctor that it might be time for a checkup. Not only would it save time and money, it could also wind up saving your life.