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In 2009, Explorys' co-founders – Stephen McHale, CEO; Charlie Lougheed, president and chief strategy officer; and Doug Meil, chief software architect – set forward on a mission to integrate clinical, financial, and operational data in order to improve delivery of care, resulting in better health outcomes and reduced costs associated with delivering medical services.

 

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Overview

Explorys' analytics platform enables the country’s leading provider organizations to more effectively leverage their data to improve care quality, patient satisfaction, and support Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and Accountable Care (ACO) models while applying the power of massively-parallel data processing to save lives and make healthcare affordable. Since its inception, the Explorys platform has been adopted by 18 major integrated healthcare systems with 205 billion data elements, 38 million unique cared-for-lives, 300 hospitals, and 215,000 providers who collectively deliver $53B in care annually.

Use Case

Explorys needed to find a cost-efficient technology that would help the company address their big data challenges. Hadoop met both of these criteria, and Cloudera stood out to Explorys as the most credible company delivering an enterprise-ready Hadoop solution. McHale, Lougheed, and Meil attended the first Hadoop World conference hosted by Cloudera in 2009, and were sold both on the value of Hadoop and on Cloudera’s “ability to deliver.” They also appreciated Cloudera’s contingent of on-staff Hadoop committers, signifying Cloudera’s ability to support production deployments and drive the direction of the technology.

With a clinical enterprise performance management system built on a relational data warehouse, if healthcare practitioners want to understand something specific about a population or segment of data, they have to go to their IT departments and then wait days or weeks to get that information back. We wanted to provide a platform that would give them an answer as fast as if they were searching on Google.

Stephen McHale, CEO, Explorys

Impact

Explorys relies on Cloudera to provide the flexibility, scalability, and speed necessary to answer complex questions on the fly. The window for analysis shrank from 30 days using traditional technologies to seconds or minutes with Explorys’ Cloudera-powered enterprise data hub. “We didn’t invent clinical quality measures, but the ability to generate those measures on a rapid basis, support hundreds of them, implement complex attribution logic, and manifest that with a slick user interface on top—that’s revolutionary.

With traditional systems, it is cumbersome to make changes to the data and then reprocess it. “The ability to have that data ready within a day is game changing” noted McHale. “Without Hadoop, it would be extremely challenging to do and certainly not cost effective.”

Because Hadoop uses industry standard hardware, the cost per terabyte of storage is, on average, 10x cheaper than a traditional relational data warehouse system.

We’d be spending literally millions more dollars than we are today on relational database technologies and licensing” said Lougheed. “Those technologies are important, but they’re important in their place. For big data analytics, storage, and processing, Hadoop is a perfect solution. It has brought opportunities for us to re-channel those funds, that capital, in directions of being more innovative, bringing more products to bear, and ultimately hiring more people for the company as opposed to buying licenses.

Charlie Lougheed, Chief Strategy Officer, Explorys

Lougheed summarized, “We were forced to think about a less expensive, more efficient technology from the beginning, and in hindsight, I’m glad that we were. For us—needing storage, high capacity index, and analytics – Hadoop really made a lot of sense. And from a partner perspective, Cloudera is one of the most influential that we’ve had throughout the years.”