Convergence CT Inc has teamed up with IBM Corp to develop a clinical data warehouse built on IBM’s Balanced Configuration Unit software-hardware platform.
The warehouse is aimed at healthcare and life sciences firms and melds IBM’s BCU for Linux appliance with Convergence CT’s DB Focus Clinical data warehouse and analytics system that is built on top of IBM’s DB2 Warehouse software.
IBM launched its BCU concept in the middle of last year to help companies get their data warehousing projects off the ground quicker by offering a preconfigured appliance built on standardized hardware and storage components that is optimized for high-performance query and analysis.
The BCU couples IBM’s pSeries server and System Storage DS4000 disk storage hardware system with its DB2 Warehouse Edition 9 software and is available in Unix and Linux flavors.
Convergence CT, which is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii and maintains offices in Europe and Asia-Pacific, has effectively licensed DB2 Warehouse to build industry-specific analytic applications for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device firms.
We like to think of our BCU as an appliance with a business benefit, said Marc Andrews, program director for data warehousing at IBM.
Convergence CT has already added its own domain expertise for clinical and patient analytics into DB2 and is leveraging the BCU architecture for quick and smooth implementation.
Andrews said that IBM was chosen ahead of rivals like Hewlett-Packard Co and Oracle Corp, who are also starting to offer appliance-like data warehousing offerings.
They had previously worked with Microsoft’s SQL Server but found challenges to scale out to production environments.
Both IBM and Convergence CT will market the product worldwide. Implementations are also being supported by IBM’s Life Sciences Global Business Services Group services if customers so require.
An early adopter of is Anceta LLC, a subsidiary of the American Medical Group Association, which uses the technology to run a national clinical outcomes data warehouse.
Overall IBM said it has signed up around 100 BCU customers worldwide.
The company is now looking to verticalize its data warehousing platform further through more industry partnerships like Convergence CT and by expanding its industry analytic data models.
The latter, Andrews explained, represent predefined vocabularies of domain specific terminology, metadata, and KPI templates for scorecarding geared towards specific business application areas within industry areas.
So far IBM has rolled out six industry models for industries like banking, telco and for applications like risk management, profitability, customer churn and relationship management and so on
Andrews said the company will be adding a new one aimed at health-plan providers in the coming weeks for applications like claims procedures and healthcare provider and network optimization.