SAN FRANCISCO—Intel last year introduced its Internet of things (IoT) Platform, a reference architecture that uses technologies from the chip maker to create an open environment that developers can leverage to build new products and solutions to address challenges presented by the proliferation of connected devices and data.
At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2015 here, company officials are expanding on Intel’s efforts to create a platform that reaches from the devices at the edge that generate data and into the data center, where much of that data is processed and analyzed. During the first two days of IDF, Intel executives have talked about everything from enhancing the company’s IoT Developer program to creating a collaboration cloud designed to give hospitals better tools for battling cancer in patients.
The IoT and big data analytics are increasingly being joined at the hip. Intel and Cisco System officials expect that by 2020, there will be more than 50 billion connected devices creating massive amounts of data. The challenge is developing the necessary means to gather and analyze that data in ways that will result in useful information that businesses, researchers, hospitals and others can act on.
Demand for this capability is creating a transition away from the digital economy and toward an “algorithm economy,” Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Center Group (DCG), said during a presentation here August 19.
“We’re around all this data, and we’re waiting for [information] to bubble up from that data,” Bryant said.
She and Doug Davis, senior vice president and general manager of the chip maker’s Internet of Things Group, outlined several steps Intel is taking to help organizations and developers find ways to more easily and quickly analyze the mountains of data being generated. That includes pushing forward with a project first announced in 2013 being done in conjunction with the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) to build an open, cloud-based platform to accelerate cancer research.
Bryant noted that health care was a particular industry that can benefit from the greater efficiencies and cost reductions that come with IoT and big data analytics, pointing out that the United States spends $2.5 trillion on health care every year, significantly more than other countries but without any better results. In addition, Eric Dishman, an Intel Fellow and general manager of the Health and Life Sciences unit within the DCG, pointed out that hospitals spend $10 billion a year treating infections that patients contract while in the hospital and that 60 percent of health care can be better done at home.
In the areas of personalized health care and such efforts as cancer research, a challenge is enabling hospitals and other health care institutions to collaborate over the Internet, according to Brian Druker, a researcher at OHSU. Security concerns are a key reason why doctors are hesitant to share health care information via the Web, Druker said during the presentation. Another is being unable to efficiently move the vast amounts of medical information involved.
Intel Unveils Analytics Technologies for Big Data, IoT
Bryant announced that the project with OHSU has resulted in the creation of what’s being called the Collaborative Cancer Cloud, a platform that ensures the secure sharing of information. A key enabling technology for the platform is Discovery Peak, an analytics software system developed internally by Intel over the past three years. One way the platform works is by enabling organizations to send data via the cloud in a secure virtual machine that, once the data reaches its destination, essentially disappears, leaving no trace. The Collaborative Cancer Cloud is being used by the Oregon institution now, but in the first quarter of 2016, Intel expects two more health care centers—one in Boston, another in Austin, Texas—will join, enabling all three to share information and speed up cancer research. Bryant said she also expects that this platform can be used to aid research into other diseases. It also will be open source, which will make it easier for organizations to participate and developers to create solutions for it.
With such collaboration, not only does research get easier, but so does the idea of personalized treatments, she and Druker said. Dishman, the Intel Fellow, is a cancer survivor and said that it took 23 years before he was cured, thanks to a personalized treatment plan that was based on a genomic analysis.
Currently developing such a personalized treatment plan can be difficult and time-consuming, involving the gathering of huge amounts of medical and imaging data and mailing documents among doctors and researchers. With a platform such as the Collaborative Cancer Cloud and more powerful, connected systems, something that took 23 years to accomplish for Dishman will be able to be done in a day by 2020, Druker said.
Bryant said the technology used in the Collaborative Cancer Cloud—including Discovery Peak—can be applied to other industries that require secure analytics, such as retail, financial services and agriculture, and in both private and public clouds.
Bryant and Davis also announced another technology—Streaming SQL—that will help organizations more quickly process and analyze data and create real-time intelligence from it. And, like Discovery Peak, Intel is releasing Streaming SQL to the open-source community.