Dana-Farber Cancer Institute extends value of clinical and research data with Oracle

Redwood Shores 04 August 2008Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, one of the leading cancer research and care centres in the United States, is using Oracle Healthcare Transaction Base (HTB) and Oracle Fusion Middleware components as the foundation for its new translational research infrastructure. Demonstrating its understanding of the unique needs of health sciences organisations, Oracle also has launched Oracle Remote Data Capture, Oracle Clinical and Oracle Thesaurus Management System which are helping to meet customers' study-based requirements.


The new infrastructure is designed to maximize the value of clinical and research data, and help improve disease understanding and patient care. Dana-Farber, through its research, collects large amounts of patient and clinical data, as well as thousands of biological samples. It also relies on outside data sources to advance its research and understanding of complex diseases.

To design new studies and address complex questions, Dana-Farber researchers need to aggregate clinical, sample and genomic data from within and beyond the organisation's collections. Dana-Farber, like many research organisations, lacked a single, integrated data infrastructure that enables aggregation and provides a comprehensive view.

Using Oracle Healthcare Transaction Base, Dana-Farber created an integrated data repository that enables researchers to access clinical and sample data using a single platform and seamlessly connect it with experimental data. The new data infrastructure helps researchers investigate clinical data more thoroughly, make complex queries and more complete data analysis, and improve experiment design. It also enables more rapid queries, providing researchers with answers in minutes to queries that previously required days to process.

To help ensure compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements, Oracle infrastructure software enables Dana-Farber to match clinical data and samples from specific patients and then remove identifying information from the data before presenting it to a researcher.

Dana-Farber deployed Oracle Identity Management and Oracle Access Manager, components of the Oracle Fusion Middleware suite, to enable researchers to securely access data from any location. Oracle BPEL Process Manager enables Dana-Farber to manage complex clinical data transfers securely as well as replicate processes that require multiple deployments across the infrastructure.

Dana-Farber uses Oracle Fusion Middleware to build and manage web services that facilitate integration with third-party applications for advanced analytics and data mining across the various data sets. Dana-Farber worked with Oracle Consulting to identify requirements, design and, ultimately, deploy the solution using off-the-shelf products - going live within five months after completion of the solution design.

"Oracle Healthcare Transaction Base enabled us to securely integrate our clinical, sample and genomic data - helping us to maximize the use of this information in our quest to develop a better understanding of and treatments for serious diseases", stated John Quackenbush, Ph.D., Professor of Biostatics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "We leveraged Oracle's extensive offerings to create a solution that helps our researchers work more securely and with greater insight. And because we leveraged Oracle's existing technology, we have a system that we could rapidly implement, that is scalable and extensible, and one that can serve as a framework for other organisations facing similar challenges."

"Health sciences organisations require advanced data integration capabilities, combined with analytical power and process flexibility, to effectively support emerging translational medicine initiatives", stated Neil de Crescenzo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Health Sciences Global Business Unit. "Oracle solutions, such as Oracle Healthcare Transaction Base, facilitate powerful enterprise-wide data integration that helps organisations enable the critical flow of information from the bedside to the bench, and vice versa."

By accommodating study-based requirements when that is preferred by customers, Oracle is making it easier for health sciences organisations to leverage Oracle's best-in-class clinical applications for electronic data capture, clinical trial management and thesaurus management.

Oracle has built the health sciences sector's most comprehensive suite of applications for clinical development and safety. The applications provide a streamlined system for managing large volumes of patient data collected during clinical trials and offer flexible features for modelling any kind of clinical study.

Recently, Oracle has formed a new Global Business Unit focused on software applications for the health sciences industry. Today, 20 of the 20 top pharmas and 14 of the 15 top United States hospitals run Oracle.

"As part of our commitment to accelerate insights for better health, it is critical that we maximize customer value and deliver the industry's best ownership experience for Oracle clinical applications. We believe offering applications that can accommodate study-based requirements helps fulfil this commitment by providing increased flexibility for our life sciences customers", stated Neil de Crescenzo.

More company news is available in the VMW March 2008 article Swedish Medical implements Oracle Enterprise Content Management Software to support new Electronic Medical Record system.

Leslie Versweyveld

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