Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

SAP launches connected health platform

William Payne
June 2, 2016
Industrial and enterprise software specialist SAP has launched a connected health platform aimed at healthcare providers. The company has also announced a number of partnerships with specialist healthcare software companies. SAP says that the moves are part of a strategy to improve healthcare and reduce costs. Taken together, they mark a major move into the market for connected healthcare and analytics by SAP.

The announced alliances included one with CancerLinq, a specialist healthcare software developer focused on detection and treatment of cancer. CancerLinq is a wholly owned non-profit subsidiary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Other alliances include Castlight Health, a patient health support and benefits platform provider, and Dharma, an IT support infrastructure for healthcare workers engaged in remote fieldwork and patient care in developing countries.

According to SAP, healthcare data, including clinical, genomic, research and healthcare data from the Internet of Things, will increase fivefold by 2020. The large amount of information offers opportunities for creating personalised treatments and value-based care.

"Creating a truly connected global ecosystem can increase the rate of innovation in healthcare services and improve patient outcomes while reducing costs and accelerating the time to bring innovative solutions to market," said Steve Singh, member of the SAP Executive Board. "With the SAP Connected Health platform, we are bringing together healthcare stakeholders across a platform that fosters and accelerates innovation, placing patients at the center of the healthcare system and in control of their healthcare data. We look forward to working with our partners to make this vision a reality."

The SAP Connected Health platform runs on the SAP HANA platform and includes a growing ecosystem of partners that influence every aspect of the cycle of care, from payers to providers to researchers to life sciences companies.

SAP's current offerings for the healthcare market include SAP Connected Health platform, SAP Health Engagement and SAP Medical Research Insights.

SAP intends to develop further solutions and partnerships on the SAP Connected Health platform.

Among the partnerships SAP has announced, CancerLinQ has been working with SAP to develop a health information technology platform that makes practice treatment insights accessible to clinicians to improve the care of patients with cancer.

"ASCO and SAP combine the expertise of the world's leading oncologists with the market-leading Big Data analytics technology to build and run CancerLinQ, the only rapid-learning system designed by oncologists for oncologists," said CancerLinQ chief executive officer Kevin Fitzpatrick. "CancerLinQ is currently being used by practices across the United States, and we are excited about its future. The SAP Connected Health platform will significantly enhance our efforts."

Castlight Health aims to empower people to make the best choices for their health and helps companies make the most of their health benefits. Castlight delivers a health benefits platform that engages employees to make better healthcare decisions and also enables benefit leaders to communicate and measure their benefits programs.

"Castlight is thrilled to be one of the first partners on the SAP Connected Health platform," said Giovanni Colella, M.D., cofounder and chief executive officer at Castlight Health. "Our companies are joining together to work toward a shared goal of improving the healthcare system and reducing costs. Using data to drive engagement with healthcare is at the core of everything Castlight does. This extraordinary effort to create an interoperable data platform will help unleash the power of technology to drive better healthcare decisions and outcomes."

Dharma Platform helps field healthcare workers and researchers collect, understand and analyse medical data gathered in field situations that are often challenging. The last few years have shown how quickly a health crisis can spread from a small, localized event to a global crisis. Dharma captures data at the source and provides tools to transform information into impact.

"Organizations that manage crises, among many others, need information that's reliable, complete and actionable," said Jesse Berns, cofounder and chief executive officer at Dharma Platform. "Our team at Dharma looks forward to working with SAP and its many partners through the SAP Connected Health platform to help data save lives in some of the most challenging settings around the world."