Mastering the Big Data Challenge in Cognitive Healthcare

May 4, 2018

Patrick Chain, genomics researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posed a question in a recent blog: What if a nurse could swipe a patient’s saliva and run a quick genetic test to determine if the patient’s sore throat was caused by a cold virus or a bacterial infection? If the test results for bacteria are positive, the patient gets the antibiotics. If the results are negative, the patient is prescribed decongestants and plenty of rest. The use of this genomic information would take the guesswork out of the process – and help to curb the use of unnecessary antibiotics.

The case for genomics stretches far beyond the treatment of irritating sinus infections, though. For example, liquid biopsies, which test for cancer via a simple blood draw – removing the need for invasive surgeries – can have a positive impact on the early diagnosis and effective treatment of various life-threatening forms of cancer. In fact, in addition to colds and cancer, genomics can help to improve treatment for a wide range of diseases from irritable bowel syndrome to Alzheimer’s to Crohn’s disease and more.

The potential is plentiful, but there’s a pitfall. Genomics requires the ability to access, manage and analyze significant amounts of data. Indeed, a whole genome sequence requires the same amount of data storage as 100 feature-length movies or 150 gigabytes of data storage, according to a research report from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Exchange (WEDI).

Therein lies the unfortunate – yet increasingly common – big data rub. While the proliferation of data holds unprecedented potential for healthcare organizations, the need to effectively manage data is emerging as a considerable, if not overwhelming, challenge.

A recent study – the HIMSS Analytics Cognitive Healthcare Study –confirms that the rapid adoption of biomedical advances, artificial intelligence, connected devices, digital pathology, population health, genomics, connected health, and other technologies is contributing to an unprecedented explosion in healthcare data. The HIMSS study finds:

  • Healthcare data is experiencing a 48% annual growth rate that will lead to 2.314 Exabytes of data by 2020
  • If all data in healthcare were loaded onto the memory in a stack of tablets, it would reach 82,000 miles high, one third of the way to the moon
  • Between electronic medical records, digitized diagnostics, and wearable medical devices, the average person will leave a trail of more than one million gigabytes of health-related data in their lifetime.

The mere existence of data, however, is not enough. Instead, healthcare organizations need to leverage modern information technology to transform this proliferation of unwieldly data into actionable information today – and eventually move toward the transformation that could come with cognitive computing models that offer the insight needed to derive even greater value from data assets.

But the truth is, most organizations lack the IT infrastructure, data management capabilities, or skilled resources to truly leverage data in a transformative manner. And healthcare decision-makers understand this. The HIMSS study finds that:

  • Clinicians feel the inability to have a single integrated view of enterprise data is a major weakness at their organizations
  • Nearly 88% of respondents identify the need to improve data access, analysis, and utilization as the top driver for today’s investment in data infrastructure
  • 32% of the respondents marked data management as the #1 priority
  • Analytics, data management, interoperability and connectivity were ranked among the top five IT investment priorities of healthcare providers in 2017

Healthcare leaders are recognizing the need to invest in modern technology that can help them better manage data, integrate information into a single view, empower clinicians to collaborate – and stand ready to take on more advanced initiatives such as cognitive computing in the future. The move will enable a future where organizations will rely upon data to create the cognitive healthcare system that can truly move biomedical research and clinical care to a whole new sphere.

Drawing on results of the study as well as insights from industry thought leaders, the HIMSS Analytics report Modernizing Healthcare Technology for Today’s Needs and Tomorrow’s Possibilities takes a broad look at where the industry stands on this journey toward implementing the modern technology that can expertly handle today’s data challenges while also positioning healthcare organizations to experience transformation and enablement through cognitive computing capabilities.

Read the white paper and learn how IBM is positioned to help accelerate the transformation of the healthcare industry toward this exciting, cognitive future.

IBM Resources

Follow @IBMSystems

IBM Systems on Facebook

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than ever, the network plays a crucial role. While fast, perform Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of personalized treatments based on an individual’s genetic makeup Read more…

By Warren Froelich

WCRP’s New Strategic Plan for Climate Research Highlights the Importance of HPC

July 19, 2018

As climate modeling increasingly leverages exascale computing and researchers warn of an impending computing gap in climate research, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) is developing its new Strategic Plan – and high-performance computing is slated to play a critical role. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Are Your Software Licenses Impeding Your Productivity?

In my previous article, Improving chip yield rates with cognitive manufacturing, I highlighted the costs associated with semiconductor manufacturing, and how cognitive methods can yield benefits in both design and manufacture.  Read more…

U.S. Exascale Computing Project Releases Software Technology Progress Report

July 19, 2018

As is often noted the race to exascale computing isn’t just about hardware. This week the U.S. Exascale Computing Project (ECP) released its latest Software Technology (ST) Capability Assessment Report detailing progress so far. Read more…

By John Russell

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of perso Read more…

By Warren Froelich

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

AI Thought Leaders on Capitol Hill

July 14, 2018

On Thursday, July 12, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology heard from four academic and industry leaders – representatives from Berkeley Lab, Argonne Lab, GE Global Research and Carnegie Mellon University – on the opportunities springing from the intersection of machine learning and advanced-scale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Serves as a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for the Information Age

July 12, 2018

In an age defined and transformed by its data, several large-scale scientific instruments around the globe might be viewed as a ‘mother lode’ of precious data. With names seemingly created for a ‘techno-speak’ glossary, these interferometers, cyclotrons, sequencers, solenoids, satellite altimeters, and cryo-electron microscopes are churning out data in previously unthinkable and seemingly incomprehensible quantities -- billions, trillions and quadrillions of bits and bytes of electro-magnetic code. Read more…

By Warren Froelich

Tsinghua Powers Through ISC18 Field

July 10, 2018

Tsinghua University topped all other competitors at the ISC18 Student Cluster Competition with an overall score of 88.43 out of 100. This gives Tsinghua their s Read more…

By Dan Olds

HPE, EPFL Launch Blue Brain 5 Supercomputer

July 10, 2018

HPE and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausannne (EPFL) Blue Brain Project yesterday introduced Blue Brain 5, a new supercomputer built by HPE, which displ Read more…

By John Russell

Pumping New Life into HPC Clusters, the Case for Liquid Cooling

July 10, 2018

High Performance Computing (HPC) faces some daunting challenges in the coming years as traditional, industry-standard systems push the boundaries of data center Read more…

By Scott Tease

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17


AMD @ SC17


ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack



DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17


IBM @ SC17


IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17


Lenovo @ SC17


Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17


Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17


Tyan @ SC17


Univa @ SC17


  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This