An Architecture Built for High-Performance Healthcare

By Frank Lee, IBM High Performance Analytics

February 5, 2019

“The healthcare industry is exploding with new information, and as we continue to move towards advanced clinical analytics, we know this trend is not slowing down,” states Bryan Fiekers, Senior Director of Research at HIMSS Analytics, in a study that focus on modernizing healthcare technology.

This statement essentially sums up one of the biggest challenges facing healthcare organizations today. And it also highlights one of the most powerful opportunities for those who want to be at the forefront of transforming biomedical research and advancing precision medicine.

Within the literally exabytes of data flooding into medical research and service delivery organizations, these days lie insights that can save lives, lead to new discoveries, and transform patient care – for the organizations willing to optimize the way they leverage, analyze, and utilize their most valuable resource: data.

This is the message that IBM Systems will bring to the 2019 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition (HIMSS19) in Orlando, Florida, on February 11-15. Behind this message exists a proven solution that supports some of the largest leading precision medicine initiatives around the globe – the IBM high-performance data and AI (HPDA) reference architecture for healthcare– a foundation that can help organizations leverage the opportunities inherent in their enormous new data sets.

Whether you are a health insurer that need to provide quality services to help people make better decisions to maintain their health; a university researcher publishing journal articles looking to win your next round of grant funding; a data scientist in commercial R&D organization progressing potential drugs through clinical trials; or a physician in a hospital delivering treatments that will give patients the best clinical outcomes – with HPDA you will experience new records for speed and scale. In the 21st century, healthcare stakeholders need a reliable, flexible, and secure computing platform that meets their diverse application requirements.

Through our work with many international organizations and healthcare industry business partners, IBM has seen that organizations that adopted our HPDA reference architecture for genomics, imaging, EHR, deep learning and other big data initiatives in biomedical research have achieved valuable results and significant benefits.

At HIMSS19, IBM will feature a number of real-world examples of HPDA architectures and components helping organizations transform their capabilities to gain insight from massive datasets.

For example, Aetna improves personalized care by providing real-time access to information and quality services that help tens of millions of people make better decisions to maintain their health and manage costs. The session at the IBM booth #6459 at HIMSS19 will show how the inclusion of high-performance IBM storage and software-defined infrastructure improved the overall performance and speed to delivery of the enterprise data warehouse, allowing Aetna to analyze massive amounts of data faster, while addressing compliance and privacy-related concerns – and cutting costs.

Booth visitors will also learn how Thomas Jefferson University is coupling large collections of diverse biological datasets with high-performance computing to drive new advances in precision medicine. The Jefferson team has generated evidence from processing massive amounts of data to demonstrate that a person’s sex, race/ethnicity, and geographic origin affect predisposition for disease, how a disease might progress, and the therapeutic options that might be most relevant to pursue.

The IBM HPDA architecture is built on IBM’s history of delivering best practices in high-performance computing (HPC). In fact, the basic HPDA framework was used to construct Summit and Sierra – currently two of the world’s most powerful supercomputers designed for data and AI. The architecture is designed to help healthcare and life science organizations easily scale compute and storage resources as demand grows, and to support the wide range of development frameworks and applications required for industry innovation – all without unnecessary re-investments in technology.

Our reference architecture for healthcare consists of key infrastructure components from IBM’s high-performance compute and storage portfolio, and it supports an expanding ecosystem of leading industry partners. The IBM HPDA architecture is based on IBM Storage and IBM Software-defined Storage solutions, software-defined infrastructure, IBM POWER9 servers, and the IBM POWERAI comprehensive AI platform. It defines a highly flexible, scalable, and cost-effective platform for accessing, managing, storing, sharing, integrating, and analyzing big data within the constraints of limited IT budgets. IT organizations can use the reference architecture as a high-level guide for overcoming data management challenges and processing bottlenecks frequently encountered in personalized healthcare initiatives and other compute- and data-intensive biomedical workloads.

Introducing the new capabilities of the IBM HPDA architecture and presenting customer success stories aren’t the only highlights IBM Systems will feature at HIMSS19. We will also host a breakfast briefing panel discussion covering the critical role that an HPDA architecture can play in helping healthcare organizations solve some of the biggest research and analytics challenges they face. In this panel, Aetna, representatives from Louisiana State University, and Froedtert Health will share how they are accelerating discoveries and improving personalized care by using flexible, scalable, secure, and cost-effective high-performance systems that can leverage the cloud to ensure the highest levels of data availability, reliability, and compliance.

Come meet our IBM Systems HPDA industry experts for a demo at the IBM booth #6459. And before you go, get a glimpse of our full sessions schedule in this blog – Making precision medicine a reality.

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