US health success for software firm

David Richards, president and chief executive of WANdisco
David Richards, president and chief executive of WANdisco
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Sheffield and Silicon Valley software company WANdisco has achieved a breakthrough in the US health sector for its ‘Big Data’ application.

The Electric Works-based business is supplying technology to allow the University of California’s Irvine Health facility, UCI Health, to digitally collate, store and analyse patient data in real time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without interruption.

WANdisco’s ‘Non-Stop Hadoop’ technology will replace UCI Health’s current data warehouse technology, which struggles to maintain availability and deal with some types of data. The technology, which gets its name from a toy elephant belonging to the son of one of its inventors, should enable UCI Health staff to considerably reduce patient deaths.

UCI Health’s Charles Boicey, said: “WANdisco is helping us make a real shift in the medical profession.

“Rather than just helping people when they are sick, we are now able to identify what can be done to keep people well.

“The number of people who die from medical errors in the US alone is the equivalent of a major passenger plane dropping out of the sky every three days. Being able to cut preventable deaths of this sort is of critical importance for the medical community.

“We’ve not found any other technology that could provide us with the uptime we need to offer this level of care – it’s like having a nurse and doctor in every hospital room around the clock.”

WANdisco executive chairman, Sheffield-born David Richards, said: “We are delighted to help UCI Health implement its forward-thinking big data strategies, which we believe represent the future of the sector.

“This is just one demonstration of how Non-Stop Hadoop can change the world and a clear indication of why the continuous availability of data is critical. UCI Health is just one hospital in the UC medical system but their lead opens up a whole new opportunity for us across the healthcare sector.”

Mr Richards says WANdisco’s technology will initially be deployed on a small scale, but the relationship with UCI will grow.