Enriching Human Life with Big Data and SAP Predictive Analytics & InfiniteInsight

Jeremy Stierwalt HC

By Ketan Patel
Practice Director, SAP Analytics
Optimal Solutions an NTT Data Company

For the past 16 years a close member of my family has been suffering from a Kidney disorder known as Proteinuria.  Proteinuria is a condition in which the individual’s urine contains an abnormal amount of protein and if the protein levels reach excessive amounts, could cause serious damage to the kidneys.  In some of the worst cases, where Proteinuria persists over time, an individual’s kidneys could be completely destroyed within 5 years.  After this occurs the only choice moving forward is for the individual to have a costly and life threatening kidney transplant surgery.  


Even with the current advances in the fields of medicine and technology, the healthcare industry has yet to find a cure for Proteinuria.   I have been fortunate enough to work with clients in countries such as Germany, UK, Singapore, China and many more.  Each time I traveled, I was able to bring my family with me and along the way we visited 8 different Nephrologists for second opinions on Proteinuria.  . Despite our best efforts and numerous consultations, my family and I were not provided any information that we had not already heard.  After trying a few specialized treatments with no success we were given the option to start Steroids as a treatment but this avenue was not something of interest due to their complicated side effects.  After years of searching for a way to positively impact this disease, we had come up empty handed which was frustrating and confusing for all of us.

Big Data Analytics finds a needle in haystack:

Our Nephrologist was able to speak at an International Conference on Proteinuria and the challenges he and his colleagues were facing in finding a cure.  During the conference there was a specific session in which all patient symptoms were identified and correlated in hoped of finding a solution.  Statistics such as Age, Gender, DNA composition, Kidney Biopsy result and Family History (to name just a few) were gathered and populated into a Big Data Analysis system.  By leveraging a federated query and a statistical algorithm inherent to Predictive Analytics, the doctors were able to uncover groundbreaking information that offered new methods for treatment of Proteinuria.  An outcome was a simple combination of Fish Oil and certain Vitamins (not steroids!) that worked like a pixie dust by lowering a patients protein levels. Big Data and Analytics are traditionally associated with solving business problems, but my family and I have a first- hand account of how it affected us on a personal level.  My career has taken me down the path of designing solutions to solve problems each and every day.  It is great to finally encounter a technology that has the depth required to not only crunch sales data, but to also save lives.

Jeremy Stierwalt

Jeremy Stierwalt: HC Cartoon

Business Use Cases:

1. The traditional process of analyzing the human genome for cancer detection takes roughly 2 days.  By leveraging SAP HANA and SAP Analytics, that 2 day process can be performed in less than 20 minutes.

2. One of Europe’s biggest hospital Charite is able to collect, filter and analyze their data much faster with SAP HANA and SAP Electronic Medical Record (SAP EMR).. As Martin Peuker, Vice CIO at CharitéUniversity Hospital Berlin explains “Today we analyze terabytes of data in a matter of seconds. This is of great advantage to both the executive management as well as to doctors and patients”.

3. Another example is the “HANA Oncolyzer”: Researchers and clinicians can access data from relevant patients and analyze them at the patient’s bedside. In the interdisciplinary research cooperation, researchers from the Hasso Plattner Institute, Charité, and SAP formed a solution for mobile devices, which combines real-time analysis and intuitive user interface. Using this technology, time-consuming manual searches in distributed database systems are no longer needed. SAP HANA combines structured and unstructured data instantly to support daily work of physicians.

4. Health care providers can make the most up to date patient data available to medical doctors and researchers (i.e. using iPad application or mobile device) so that they can access all the data across multiple sources anytime while they’re visiting patients anywhere in or outside the hospital.

 Value additions:

• Identify the root cause of life threatening diseases; eliminate the unnecessary treatments and recommend a potential workable treatment.)
• Real-time analysis of patient data by exploring structured and unstructured data
• Improve productivity of health service staff and shorten waiting time for patients
• Successfully overcoming challenges of Big Data in the bioscience paradigm and easing drug discovery/research process
• Patient care based on genome analysis results can actually happen in one doctor visit Vs. waiting for several days or multiple follow-up visits

Other Resources:

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