• Big Data
  • Experfy Editor
  • MAY 28, 2014

Big Data Weekly Roundup: Stanford, Ubeeko, JHU, Oscar

Stanford Conference on Big Data: Ever since the massive influx of digital information invaded every industry sector, healthcare-related information assumed a new role in everything “from the drug-discovery process to personalized patient care.” In the field of health care, big data emerges from a wide variety of sources such as wearable medical sensors, genome data, clinical trials, databanks of biological samples, and many other channels. Once upon a time, due to overt privacy concerns, this critical mass of information used to remain trapped in institutional silos.

In the second annual Big Data in Biomedicine Conference at Stanford campus, Dr. Lloyd Minor, dean of Stanford University School of Medicine, said: “Big data is the connecting piece that enables us to get research to the benefit of patients and study outcomes of the care being delivered.” This conference attracted approximately 500 attendees—researchers, statisticians, doctors, statisticians, and health care industry members.

At the Stanford conference, many important big data-driven discoveries were discussed, such as identifying at-risk Type 2 diabetes patients, and detecting respiratory diseases on a molecular level.

What is interesting to note is that the US hospital network (22 surveyed) seems to perceive big data analytics as a redundant task, as reported by a market research firm for IT application in health care. Although a McKinsey report estimated that big data could potentially reduce health care expenses by as much as $450 billion, the big data initiatives are materializing slowly.

Significant federal efforts in embracing big data

The federal government has undertaken genome sequencing of the entire human race, which Stephen Quake, a Stanford bioengineer, has estimated could create more than 5 petabytes of information. That work would cost at least $6 trillion. According to the 150 federal healthcare executives involved in this project, fulfilling this gigantic mission in five years will largely depend on the successful use of big data.

The National Institutes of Health is developing an online network where geneticists can share and give feedback on their work. Philip Bourne, the Institute’s associate director described his vision for a “Drop box-like depository to store data and a Yelp-like network where researchers can highlight the most useful data sets.”

President Obama’s Open Government Initiative includes a directive to make all daily operations publicly available, the result of which was seen in the recent release of Medicare payment information and in the formation of Affordable Care Act for penalizing hospitals for unnecessary readmissions. Read the whole story at Stanford Conference on Big Data in Healthcare

Ubeeko unleashes HFactory:
A leader in applied Hadoop solutions, has unleashed HFactory this month, with the main objective of provisioning a powerful development platform for data-driven, custom web supplications. HFactory, labeled as an agile web development platform, promises to quickly operationalize big data on web-based applications, besides offering BI and data analytics capabilities.

From big data to enterprise web applications—HFactory will enable organizations to quickly develop and deploy web applications and derive value from Hadoop without any prior expertise in H-base NoSQL. HFactory will be highly beneficial for organizations new to Hadoop ecosystem with web-application development needs. Read the full story at Ubeeko Unleashes Hfactory  

JHU introduces data science courseware: John Hopkins Universityintroduced three data science courseware earlier this month: Exploratory Data Analysis, Reproducible Research, and Statistical Inference. These courses have been added in sequence after the first three courses introduced in April: The Data Scientist’s ToolboxR Programming, and Getting and Cleaning Data.  These courses have been permanently deployed and will remain available every month. Ubeeko CEO, Ghislain Mazars, says: “We felt the application developer had been left underserved so far with Hadoop, and wanted to contribute to the platform momentum by helping close that gap.” HFactory is probably the first integrated web application development platform in the Hadoop environment. If you want to participate in the commercial beta trial of Factory, visit the Ubeeko website. Read the full story at JHU Launches Data Science Courseware

Oscar raises USD 80Million: The technology-based health insurance company Oscar raised $80 M investment capital. This funding round was led by Formation8?s Joe Lonsdale, with participation from Breyer Capital, Founders Fund, General Catalyst Partners, Khosla Ventures, and Thrive Capital, owned by one of the co-founders of the company. Oscar managed to raise $75 earlier is seed funds.

Oscar, with a year’s business footprint and operating solely in the NY market, has more than 16,000 customers—each paying $4,500 in annual fees—taking the company’s revenue to approximately $72 million. Investors view Oscar as a fast-growing technology enabled player compared to traditional insurance businesses. Oscar will primarily use this capital funds in hiring new talents and expanding their markets.

Launched in October 2013 and known as a “disruptive healthcare services business,” Oscar offers its doctor-finder and medical information search services via a Google Map-style interface. Additional services include price-comparison of commodity services like MRIs and free call facilities on a 24/7 basis. Read the full story at Oscar Raises $80 Million

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