Databricks focuses on healthcare with industry-specific lakehouse


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San Francisco-based data and AI company Databricks today expanded its product portfolio to include another vertically specific platform: Lakehouse for Healthcare and Life Sciences.

The offering, as the company explained, brings a suite of custom data and AI solutions aimed at solving the most common challenges faced by enterprises as they innovate in healthcare. It follows the launch of Databricks’ retail and financial services lakehouse.

“As organizations transition completely to electronic health records, new data types such as genomics evolve and IoT and wearables take off, the industry is inundated with massive amounts of data. But… teams don’t have the tools to use it properly,” said Michael Hartman, senior vice president of regulated industries at Databricks. “With Lakehouse for Healthcare and Life Sciences, we can drive the transformation of the entire healthcare ecosystem and help our customers solve specific industry challenges and deliver better outcomes for the future of healthcare.”

How would Lakehouse help healthcare?

Today, healthcare enterprises rely largely on legacy data architectures that store information from different systems and functions in fragmented silos. This makes advanced analytics difficult, limiting the pace of innovation in areas such as patient care and drug discovery.

The vertical-specific lake house, on the other hand, eliminates this challenge by providing healthcare facilities with a single cloud-backed platform for data management, analytics and advanced AI. It enables organizations to easily leverage data and accelerate the development of more advanced, data-driven solutions, such as solutions focused on disease risk prediction, medical image classification, biomarker discovery and drug development. Cross-functional teams — from physician scientists to computer biologists — can also use data from this product to build a holistic view of the patient and make real-time decisions.

To make these applications easier, Lakehouse for Healthcare comes with a number of solution accelerators and open source libraries (such as GLOW for genomics) supported by a certified ecosystem of partners. When combined together, these elements help data users jump-start their analytics projects and save weeks to months of development time.

The partner ecosystem, Databricks explains, includes companies like Deloitte, Lovelytics, John Snow Labs and ZS Associates. John Snow Labs will help companies analyze unstructured medical text using NLP for use cases such as oncology research, drug safety monitoring, and anonymizing personal health information. Meanwhile, Lovelytics and ZS Associates help automate streaming Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource bundle ingestion and improve biomarker discovery for precision medicine.

Customer base

Databricks is making the new Lakehouse offering generally available today. However, some companies have been able to use it early on, including GE Healthcare, Regeneron, ThermoFisher and Walgreens.

“The Databricks Lakehouse for Healthcare and Life Sciences helps GE Healthcare with a modern, open, and collaborative platform to build patient opinion across different pathways of care. By unifying our data into one platform with a full suite of analytics and ML capabilities, we have reduced costly legacy data silos and provided our teams with timely and accurate insights.” Joji George, CTO of LCS Digital at GE Healthcare, said.

The move further expands Databricks’ lake home ecosystem, which competes directly with Snowflake’s data cloud. Other players in the same space include Dremio, Google BigQuery, and Amazon Redshift.

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