Dell is Enabling Personalized and Predictive Healthcare

March 10, 2016

“The Internet of Things has great potential to improve the health of patients with chronic illness.” McKinsey Global Institute

As the 41,000 attendees from HIMSS returned home, there is no doubt technology is advancing personalized and predictive healthcare. If you missed the conference, here are a few key highlights of the colossal exhibit hall, presentations covering every area of healthcare technology and some of the inspirations witnessed throughout the week. Arriving at the Sands Expo, I was blown away at the size of the conference, my first stop was to visit ThingWorx partner Dell. On display, multiple kiosks of technology solutions for connected health including mobility, cloud, analytics, and my favorite the Dell Connected Health which uses our ThingWorx IoT platform.

Dell Digital Services offers the power of digital capabilities across cloud, mobility, social media, big data and digital transformation consulting to deliver comprehensive professional services dedicated to IoT.  Dell IoT gateways, which are ThingWorx certified, bring the power of analytics to the edge of the network, reducing the time and cost associated with transferring non-essential data to the cloud.  Dell has created an IoT Services practice based on the ThingWorx IoT Platform across key verticals including healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing.

What really inspired me was having the ability to give back.  Many joined Dell and Brookes Blossoms to take part in the fight against cancer by assembling and designing headbands for children battling cancer. Their Moto:  Planting seeds of Faith, Love, and Hope for Cures… One Smile at a Time!

Day two at HIMSS was filled with many stops throughout the exhibit floor as well as sitting in on a few presentations.   One particular session by Dell and their customer the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics who shared insights on using real-time predictive analytics to reduce complications, improve patient outcomes and decrease the cost of care.

Guided by the use of predictive analytics tools, the hospital was able to reduce surgical site infections (SSIs) by about 58%. SSIs are a major cause of morbidity and hospital readmission, affecting 3-11% of general surgery patients in the United States.  The additional healthcare costs attributed to SSIs are estimated to be over $20,000 per infection (Shepard 2013).  The goal was to determine SSI risk at the time of completion of the surgical procedure, including features of the operation itself, so that alternative wound management strategies and care protocols can be evaluated. The importance of real time results is critical for care during surgery to effect outcomes.  John W. Cromwell, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Director of Surgical Quality & Safety, at  University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics shared many challenges the hospital faced including:

  • How to build support and alignment among leadership and all affected stakeholders
  • Different skill sets were required to build out a modeling and real-time prediction solution
  • Medical expertise, expertise about specific surgery
  • Data architecture skills, Data science, model building, statistics
  • Enterprise deployment

How did they do it?  In order to improve the quality of care, the team needed to have a flexible, advanced analytics platform that encompassed the entire analytics lifecycle, from data aggregation and preparation, to model development and finally to model deployment and monitoring.  Working with Dell they were able to drive efficiency and productivity to accelerate insights.


Today the technology exists to collect all this data, store it and stream into business systems. Within 2 years, the operation of the system increased satisfaction for involved providers and increasingly engaged them in quality improvement efforts decreasing SSIs and estimated savings of about $740,000 for every 1,000 patients undergoing surgery.

Few know how to create, operationalize, and maintain advanced and predictive intelligence. That’s why ThingWorx built powerful machine learning technology inside our platform.  ThingWorx Analytics delivers powerful, automated analytics capabilities via the ThingWorx Platform, including adaptive learning technology, real-time pattern and anomaly detection, simulative and prescriptive analytics, and automated predictive analytics. All without having to be an expert in data science or complex mathematics.  Download the whitepaper, ABI Research- Automating and Democratizing Cutting Edge Analytics Whitepaper to learn more.

Sources:  Real-Time Data, Predictive Analytics Can Reduce Infections;

The session was presented by John W. Cromwell, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Director of Surgical Quality & Safety, at  University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Thomas Hill, PhD, Executive Director Analytics, Dell Inc.