Big Data & Analytics Heroes

Sharath Cholleti

Computer Scientist, Emory University

We have a lot of data today, both structured and unstructured, that, when used on time, at the right time, in real-time can save lives. Sharath Cholleti, this week's Big Data and Analytics Hero, gives us a glimpse of how they use data for better patient care.

How are big data and analytics changing your business strategy?

Hospitals collect a lot of data from different sensors and clinician notes, to what they observe about the patients, and all this data is captured in the electronic heath record systems. We have 15 to 20 terabytes of that data but, we did not have a solution to analyze that data in real time. Using IBM InfoSphere Streams, our goal is to develop the next generation ICU monitoring system so that we can do advanced analytics in real time, so that we can take care of the patients in a better way.

Why are big data and analytics so important for patient care?

Sepsis that is very severe infection that can lead to multiple organ failure. Every hour you delay treating that condition increases the chance of mortality by 10 percent, but this advanced analytics solution enables you to see if the patient potentially has an infection or, has experienced a stroke. If you have one patient, you could just use one computer to handle the few algorithms. But, at Emory, we have over 100 ICU patients that are connected to this system. So, that is where we need big data solutions to be able to do it in real time. By reducing infections or stokes, you can cut down how long a patient stays in an ICU bed.

How can big data combined with analytics improve the world we live in in 5 to 10 years?

The ability to, at once, execute many algorithms that provide value to patients and help clinicians care for their patients better would certainly be profound. That is something I cannot do today with the GE or Phillips system, and that is where I see IBM playing a big role to help move healthcare forward.

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