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Key highlights





Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Solution highlights

  • Modern Data Platform: Cloudera Enterprise
  • Workloads: Data Science & Engineering
  • Key Components: Apache Spark

Applications supported

  • Precision medicine

Data sources

  • Electronic medical records
  • Clinical applications
  • Medical devices

Expected impact

  • Enable near-real time analysis of data
  • Support delivery of more customized treatment plans
  • Improve speed and accuracy of data analysis

Rush University Medical Center researchers and clinicians will gain new insights to better customize patient treatment plans and deliver precision medicine using a Cloudera platform for advanced analytics and machine learning.

Rush University Medical Center, located in Chicago, Illinois, is a leading U.S. academic health system.


Jawad Khan, director of Knowledge Management and Data Sciences at Rush University Medical Center expects the coming year to be a transformative one for Rush University Medical Center when it comes to data. “Today, data is primarily coming from our clinical systems, but we see that both the volume and the type of data will rapidly expand in the coming months,” explained Khan.

To support this growth, the organization needed a modern data platform. “We don't believe that we can do all the projects in our pipeline without having a big data platform that can support the volume and high velocity of data we want to analyze,” said Khan. “There's going to be shattering technology coming to healthcare in the next few years and we want to be a part of that.”


Rush University Medical Center is working with Cloudera to deploy a modern data platform for advanced analytics and machine learning. The platform will allow the organization to eliminate data silos and analyze a much wider range of data in near-real time---from genomic data to data captured from medical devices to even handwritten physician notes. As a result, researchers and clinicians will be able to gain new insights that help them better customize patient treatment plans and deliver precision medicine.

“To be data-driven is not an option anymore; it is a requirement,” said Khan. “Data empowers us to understand the specific gene makeup of a given patient and understand what care path is best. We want to be able to analyze not just the data that the physician enters about the patient in the EMR, but also the data that the patient creates themself about their health, along with many other data sets.”


According to Khan, one of the analytics team’s goal is to ensure that Rush clinicians and researchers can pull data for analysis on demand when they need it. To achieve this, the organization seeks to implement analytics-as-a-service in the cloud.

“Some regulatory requirements will necessitate placing certain data within our data centers,” said Khan. “However, our general strategy is to move as much data to the cloud and provide a self-service environment that empowers our users to be able to get the data on their own.”


The ability to efficiently capture, store, process, and analyze vast amounts of unstructured data in near-real time will help Rush to move towards its goal of delivering precision medicine.

We will be able to write models on a larger set of data, and machine learning will enable us to see exactly where the variations are and design our care paths along those variations. Additionally, before we were waiting 24 to 48 hours to be able to collect, process, and analyze data. But our platform now will enable us to stream the data in real time from any source, process it, and provide analysis on it in an almost-real-time basis.”

Jawad Khan, director of Knowledge Management and Data Sciences at Rush University Medical Center