The National Marrow Donor Program is using IBM's Lombardi analytics software to help match marrow donors with patients in need.
IBM has announced that
the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)
is using IBM's analytics software to speed
the processing time required to match information about potential donors with
bone marrow transplant patients.
In an interview with eWEEK
Marie Wieck, IBM's general manager for
WebSphere and middleware, said the NMDP is using IBM
analytics software to streamline the record-matching process by automatically
comparing millions of data records nationwide. These records include donor
information, geographic location and patient-recipient data. The objective of
the project is to speed up the period of time it takes for bone marrow
transplants, which currently averages 96 days. Wieck said IBM's
software is capable of cutting this period down to 45 days.
IBM provided the NMDP
with its WebSphere Lombardi software package, which can simultaneously track
donors, patients, and locations on one dashboard, making it easier for staff to
facilitate a match. The project, being prototyped this fall, is set to launch
in 2011, IBM said.
software gives organizations the ability to quickly adjust their business
processes to support sudden and changing needs-especially those that rely
heavily on collaboration to complete a task or project. As a result, the NMDP
is able to automate its screening processes, eliminating the need for
complicated and time-consuming technical intervention, and allowing staff to
focus on records that meet the matching criteria.
The NMDP estimates that as many as 10,000 patients can benefit
from a transplant each year in the U.S. alone, while only four in 10 patients
with life-threatening diseases receive the bone marrow they need to survive due
to a range of factors, including wait time.
"Many of these patients need a transplant quickly to
treat their life-threatening disease," said Jeffrey W. Chell, MD, CEO
of the NMDP, in a statement. "We expect this new system to significantly reduce
the time to transplant. This will help more patients get the transplant they
need, when they need it."
"This breakthrough at NMDP is a prime example of how
health analytics can be used to mine data in new ways and streamline
processes," said Dan Pelino, general manager of IBM
healthcare and life sciences, in a statement. "New approaches to analyzing
patient data are advancing the state of medicine and influencing research. IBM
has made a significant investment in analytics over the years and applied this
expertise to healthcare with literally life-saving results."
A bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant can be
used to treat patients with life-threatening blood, immune system or genetic
disorders. The NMDP currently facilitates more than 5,000 transplants using
unrelated donors or cord blood units each year. The NMDP operates the "Be The
Match Registry" of more than eight million potential donors and more than
160,000 cord blood units. Through cooperative relationships with international
registries, the organization provides access to a total of 14 million potential