Case Studies: Big Data and Healthcare & Life Sciences

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The insideBIGDATA Guide to Healthcare & Life Sciences is a useful new resource directed toward enterprise thought leaders who wish to gain strategic insights into this exciting new area of technology. This guide is a useful new resource directed toward enterprise thought leaders who wish to gain strategic insights into this exciting new area of technology. The guide provides an overview of the utilization of big data technologies as an emerging discipline in healthcare and life sciences. It explores the characteristics of this business strategy and the benefits of leveraging big data technologies within these sectors. It also touches on the challenges and future directions of big data and analytics in the healthcare and life sciences industries. The complete insideBIGDATA Guide to Healthcare & Life Sciences is available for download from the insideBIGDATA White Paper Library.

insidebigdata_guide_healthcare_lifesciences_dell_emc_featureCase Studies: Big Data and Healthcare & Life Sciences

This section highlights a number of high-profile case studies that are based on Dell EMC software and services and illustrate inroads into big data made by healthcare and life sciences organizations. Dell EMC provides an end-to-end portfolio of solutions and services for healthcare analytics, business intelligence and data management. Specifically, Dell EMC Healthcare Services and Dell EMC BI & Analytics Services maintain a strong focus on the healthcare domain and BI/analytics services and technology in order to fuel the transformation of healthcare with interconnected analytics  solutions that drive quality improvements and cost reduction.

Healthcare Provider

Dell EMC performed a big data proof-of-value and data lake build out for a healthcare provider. The goal was a big data solution for predictive analytics and enterprise reporting. The challenge was that the organization did not have an enterprise data warehouse to consolidate data from their enterprise operational systems. Further, key business stakeholders were not provided with tools needed to access data. Lastly, teams tasked with  creating analytics spent 90% of their time integrating data in SAS, leaving them little time to analyze the data or create predictive analytics. The successful project involved meeting with key business and IT stakeholders to determine reporting and analytic challenges and priorities, and also performing a Current State Assessment, along with meta data Discovery, profiling and outlier analysis of source data. Dell EMC proposed a data lake architecture to address enterprise reporting and predictive analytic needs. The solution also initiated a governance program to ensure data quality and  to establish stewardship procedures. Finally, the project identified federated business data lake hardware and Pivotal big data suite software as  the target platform for the data lake.

The results of the project included new client analytics environment that facilitated the execution of analytics and reporting activities to reduce time to insight. Further, client governance structure ensured that metadata for new data sources into the data lake was shared with users. The environment  also supported the rapid creation of sandboxes to support analytics projects.


To advance health through genomic sequencing and personalized medicine, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) required a robust, scalable high-performance computing environment complimented with powerful big data analytics tools for its Dell EMC | Cloudera Apache Hadoop platform, accelerated by Intel. For example, a genome map is required before a personalized treatment for neuroblastoma can be designed for the patient, but conventional genome mapping takes up to 6 months. Dell EMC helped TGen reduce the time from 6 months to less than 4 hours and enables biopsy to treatment in less than 21 days. Now TGen is widely known for their comprehensive genome analysis and collaboration through efficient and innovative use of their technology to support researchers and clinicians to deliver on the promises of personalized medicine for better patient outcomes.

Arizona State University

ASU worked with Dell EMC to create a powerful HPC cluster that supports big data analytics. As a result, ASU built a holistic Next Generation Cyber Capability (NGCC) using Dell EMC and Intel technologies that is able to process structured and unstructured data, as well as support diverse biomedical genomics tools and platforms. HPC technology and the Dell EMC | Cloudera Apache Hadoop solution, accelerated by Intel, upon which NGCC is based can handle data sets of more than 300 terabytes of genomic data. In addition, ASU is using the NGCC to understand certain types of cancer by analyzing patients’ genetic sequences and mutations.

Transforming Patient Care at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics

Surgeons at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics needed to know if patients were susceptible to infections in order to make critical treatment decisions in the operating room. The goals of the project were to predict patients with the biggest risk of surgical site infections, in order to reduce infection rate to improve patient care and decrease costs. Reducing the infection rate has major implications for overall patient health and cost savings. The solution consisted of the ability to merge historical EHR data and live patient vital signs to predict infection likelihood, and provide doctors with real-time, predictive decisions during surgical procedures so they can create a plan to reduce risk. The surgical team harnessed the power of big data analytics, coupled with other methods, to keep patients safe—reducing surgical site infections by 58 percent—while decreasing the cost of care and decreasing the incidence of readmissions by 40%.

Centegra Health System

To boost patient care, avoid cyclical data migrations, achieve disaster recovery, and gain agility, Centegra sought a highly flexible and scalable solution for data management and archiving. Centegra Health System selected Dell EMC’s Unified Clinical Archive (UCA) solution to manage its growing  archive of diagnostic images. It gives unlimited scalability and includes an application-neutral onsite archive that replicates data to the cloud. The  benefits of the solution include:

  1. boosting patient care, service levels and efficiency by simplifying data access
  2. staff can view patient information with high reliability
  3. saving money by avoiding data migrations and upgrades
  4. increasing agility by breaking free of proprietary file constraints.

Large Healthcare Organization

A large healthcare organization was looking to improve their data warehouse response and capabilities with a proven MPP based appliance. Additionally, they need a sandbox for Hadoop in order to prototype unstructured workloads. The Dell EMC QuickStart for Cloudera Hadoop, accelerated by Intel was chosen to provide an engineered solution for their Hadoop testbed. The native software in Microsoft APS, called Polybase, was used to incorporate both structured (SQL) and unstructured (Hadoop) data using SQL skills for their Value Based Care business. The goal was to prove out some test cases and then roll out to other business units.

If you prefer, the complete insideBigData Guide to Healthcare & Life Sciences is available for download in PDF from the insideBIGDATA White Paper Library, courtesy of Dell and Intel.




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