Predictive Analytics and Big Data at Work in Healthcare

Industry Marketing Manager, Healthcare and Life Sciences

When an individual has suffered an irreversibly life-altering event, such as a traumatic brain injury, early detection of complications gives doctors the ability to plan and begin treatments sooner or potentially stop the progression of a condition altogether.

In a recent blog regarding the fusion of big data and little babies, my colleague Charlie Schick referred to a first-of-a-kind project between the University of Ontario, Toronto SickKids Hospital and IBM Research to analyze data from bedside monitors, along with data at rest from the EMR, to detect the onset of nosocomial infections in infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It was a groundbreaking project with great impact. By analyzing trends and correlating vital sign data within IBM Infosphere Streams and IBM PureData technologies, physicians can detect the onset of this life-threatening infection 24 hours earlier than previously able, thereby triggering a more immediate response from the medical team.

Since the time this project began, researchers and healthcare organizations around the country have brought together their clinical expertise with the technology and resources from IBM and its business partners to develop sophisticated analytical models for a variety of critical care conditions, including brain trauma, labor and delivery trauma, and detection of sepsis.

At the upcoming Strata Rx big data conference in San Francisco, the IBM big data team will speak about our engagement with clients and IBM’s investment in big data technology to help transform healthcare. In an exclusive luncheon during the conference, we will discuss how advanced streaming computing, coupled with complex analytics, is being used at various healthcare institutions across North America to analyze data in motion and establish patterns of expertise for predictive responses in the intensive care unit.

The luncheon is Tuesday, October 16, at noon at the Strata Rx conference (don’t worry it doesn’t overlap with any sessions). It’s an invitation only event, and we still have a few more to give out. To get your invitation or connect with our big data healthcare and life sciences team at Strata Rx, message us via Twitter: @IBMBigDataHLS.


Penny Schlyer is a worldwide industry marketing manager for big data at IBM. In this role she engages with healthcare and life sciences clients to understand critical business challenges and advocates IBM’s big data platform which leverages the strength of IBM’s information management expertise with capabilities for high velocity, high volume complex analytics.