Answers in Analytics: How International Medical Corps uses humanitarian aid and advanced analytics to save lives

Senior Marketing Manager, IBM

Whether providing aid to millions of war-torn Syrians or easing the suffering of those caught in the west African Ebola outbreak, being a first responder requires International Medical Corps (IMC) to have an integrated solution that puts robust, reliable and accurate information at the fingertips of its personnel. Keep reading to learn how this global emergency organization is using IBM analytics to build on more than 30 years of saving lives.

Since 1984, IMC has offered essential health services to those who stand in urgent need of them, no matter the place, the time, or the conditions—and often within hours. The volunteer physicians and nurses who form the apolitical nonsectarian organization aim to improve people’s quality of life by providing urgent health interventions and conducting related activities with an eye to building local capacity in underserved communities worldwide.

Extending IMC’s mission beyond disaster relief, however, means providing people with skills that can help them get back on their feet. IMC's training programs help prepare local leaders who live in disaster-prone areas to sustain hardship while helping them keenly feel ownership of their recovery and future, thus IMC's motto: From relief to self-reliance. But making this motto a reality in 70 countries across six continents—even with field offices in 40 of those countries—is no easy task.

IMC turned to IBM for help uncovering insights that could aid the organization in supplying the right areas with the right resources at the right times. Until then, IMC relied on manual processes, operating with the help of spreadsheets contained in standalone and isolated systems. But extracting useful information from these spreadsheets was a time-consuming and daunting task at best.

Now, thanks to an IBM solution bringing together the capabilities of the IBM Cognos Analytics platform, IBM Cognos TM1 enterprise planning software and IBM SPSS Statistics analysis software, IMC has begun peering deeply into its data. By consolidating its data into dashboards, IMC can rapidly deliver information to decision makers, helping first responders base their judgments on real-time information—cutting response times and enhancing care outcomes while gaining a precise real-time view of the organization’s finances and resources, particularly with regard to the essential donors who provide most of IMC’s operating funds.

Learn more about how International Medical Corps has begun simulating response in cutting-edge mobile field hospitals as part of its quest to provide immediate trauma care. And when you do, take a moment to find out how IBM healthcare solutions can help you lay a foundation of knowledge for your organization.