Microsoft Has Health Care Hopes With Revolution Analytics Buy
Helping businesses profit from their big data with new cloud solutions isn't the only aim behind Microsoft's acquisition of Revolution Analytics.A month after Microsoft announced that it was acquiring Revolution Analytics, a Mountain View, Calif.-based R programming language specialist, the company is signaling that it is laying the groundwork for health care big data solutions. The Revolution Analytics deal "has large implications for the healthcare industry," said Tom Lawry, global product strategy lead for Microsoft Health Analytics, in a Feb. 24 blog post. "Healthcare data already accounts for a big portion of the digital universe—and the amount continues to increase by nearly 50 percent a year, according to IDC." The advent of electronic medical records and the growing popularity of health and fitness trackers—including Microsoft's own Band wearable—are driving demand for IT and cloud computing solutions that not only can handle the vast amounts of data generated by medical systems and devices, but also can leverage that data for better patient outcomes or for helping to prevent diseases and injuries altogether. "As the volume of health data skyrockets, the industry will need more powerful analytical tools to make data-driven decisions," Lawry added.
Revolution Analytics is a contributor to the open-source R community as well as "the leading commercial provider of software and services based on the 'R' statistical computing language," noted Lawry. The technology, used in data analytics, machine learning and data visualization "is backed by a thriving community of more than 2 million users, making it one of the most widely used statistical programming languages worldwide."