Hadoop Drives Down Costs, Drives Up Usability With SQL Convergence - Page 2

The Hadoop environment stores a wide range of health care data, including EMR-generated data, genomic data, financial data, patient and caregiver data, smart pump data and ventilator data. "Any electronically generated data in a health care environment can be ingested and stored in Hadoop and, most importantly, on commodity hardware," Boicey said.

Hadoop also enabled the medical center to pull its legacy data into Saritor, covering 1.2 million patients and more than 9 million records. "We had over 20 years of legacy data that was costing us $100,000 to maintain," said Boicey.

Putting the data into Saritor also enabled UCI Medical Center's researchers to have access to 23 years of data that they didn't have ready access to before. "They can now ask questions of the data that they couldn't before," Boicey said.

Boicey, noting that he architected Saritor, had 15 years of experience in trauma and critical care nursing before he switched careers to IT. Saritor now is being updated with a system to acquire home monitoring data. The center also is working on a pilot to enhance patient monitoring in the hospital and to support patient self-monitoring.

In addition, a UCI student project is underway to develop a sentiment analysis dashboard to better understand the social media environment external to UC Irvine Health, Boicey said in a post earlier this month. As part of the patient experience feedback loop, the medical center will be able to reach out and connect with patients to better understand their concerns and enhance the patient experience.

Saritor uses the Hortonworks Hadoop distribution and surrounding tools. Boicey said they chose Hortonworks because it suited their requirements for an open-source platform without proprietary features. "When you're standing up something like this," he said, "you don't want to be paying through the nose." Plus, he added, Hortonworks was "really interested" in working with the health care industry.

"Health care has been an area of interest for us," said Shaun Connolly, vice president of corporate strategy at Hortonworks. "Over the last six to nine months, one of the trends we've seen with Hadoop is that people are moving from kicking tires to more targeted pilots and proofs-of-concepts." And although the use cases vary, as was the case with UCI, "they are usually driven by a desire to grab new forms of data and weave it in with their existing data," he said.

Meanwhile, Neustar, a provider of real-time information and analytics for the Internet, telecommunications, entertainment and marketing industries as well as a provider of clearinghouse and directory services to the global communications and Internet industries, also is using Hadoop to expand its data warehousing environment.

Mike Peterson, vice president of platforms and data architecture for Neustar, said the company used Hadoop to transition from an environment consisting of Oracle databases, Netezza appliances and Teradata technology that was becoming cost prohibitive and restrictive.

With that system, "We could only keep 1 percent of our data for 60 days, but we were tasked with keeping 100 percent of our data for a year, and that led us to Hadoop," Peterson told eWEEK.