IT & SOCIETY: ADVANCEMENTS FOR THE GREATER GOOD
The pervasive nature of Information Technology (IT) comes with both great opportunity and great responsibility. EMC recognizes that utilizing the positive potential of IT is critical to long-term environmental, societal, and economic prosperity. The IT megatrends of cloud, social, and mobile bring technology to an ever expanding number of people from all corners of our planet. With this growth comes unprecedented opportunity to leverage the power of data through the use of Big Data analytics and other emerging technologies. EMC is proud to work on projects like those highlighted below, that utilize our technology for the greater good.
We recognize that not all aspects of IT are inherently positive. As seen throughout this report, we are working diligently to mitigate environmental and social impacts throughout the value chain. We also realize that an increasingly interconnected world can result in the creation of societal issues never before encountered. We understand that IT is only a tool, and that it is our responsibility to encourage its use in ways that protect and promote well-being.
Studying the Ecological Impacts of Climate Change using Big Data
In 2014, EMC embarked on a new partnership with Earthwatch Institute, the National Park Service, and the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. The new Big Data vs. Climate Change project plans to enhance the power of data being collected to provide increased analytics and present interactive visualizations of information in forms more accessible to citizens, educators, and scientists worldwide.
The program began with a team of EMC employees working with researchers studying bird migration in Acadia National Park. The team set out to determine if bringing together publicly available data sets on birds, the timing of fruiting and flowering, and climate could provide new insights into the effects of climate change on bird migration. As a proof of concept, the team used citizen science data sets from eBird, iNaturalist, HawkWatch, the National Phenology Network, and the National Park Service. The outputs of analysis will be presented through visualizations that allow citizen scientists to understand how their data is being used and learn about the potential effects of a changing climate on the subjects they study. They will also be providing key insights for park officials to plan the resources and tools needed to maintain park programs.
Looking ahead, the program plans to include additional data sets from Earthwatch's global research partners, and create a data science sandbox that will allow citizen scientists to gain the data science expertise they need to build their skills and interact with their data in a deeper way.
Developing specific technology solutions for Healthcare enablement in India
The Center for Transformational Innovations in EMC’s India Center of Excellence is driving an initiative to create a comprehensive platform for delivery of healthcare based on technologies from the EMC Federation. Various healthcare applications can be developed on the platform to deliver a broad array of capabilities including: Care Coordination, Remote Monitoring, Clinical Decision Support and Care Plan Design.
EMC LifeCare aims to address the most pressing challenges within the current healthcare delivery system by enabling patient-centric care management; proactive, real-time connection between providers and patients; and critical management of chronic and geriatric care. Healthcare data is complex, and the need to store this data over much longer periods of time is driving an unprecedented need for scalability, reliability, and cost efficiency. LifeCare’s cloud-enabled delivery framework is powered by storage technology from EMC, virtualization technology from VMware, security software from RSA, and advanced analytics from Pivotal Labs. LifeCare supports healthcare industry standards such as IHE and HL7 for integrating data from electronic medical records / electronic health records and healthcare information systems. LifeCare portals and mobile applications offer an intuitive user interface that simplifies monitoring, alerting, and analyzing health data. The dashboard provides role-based information and personalized experience for patients, care coordinators, and physicians. In addition, the portals provide advanced video consulting capabilities which provide a truly immersive experience for the patients. The video sessions are recorded and stored securely on EMC’s storage infrastructure for audits, thus complying with all necessary medical mandates. LifeCare integrates EMC’s leading technology with healthcare applications for data-driven diagnosis and analytics-based proactive care. The solution helps healthcare providers focus their cost-intensive hospital resources and medical equipment on critical cases, while automating general monitoring and follow-up.
Utilizing City Data to Track Dengue Fever
In conjunction with the launch of its newest R&D center located in Brazil, EMC partnered with the City of Rio de Janeiro on a Big Data initiative to bring together many of the city’s previously disparate databases, and use the data to make better decisions. Through this process, they developed an application that allows Rio to track the spread of dengue fever within the region and to identify relationships between the spread of disease and other demographic and event-based factors. The technology allows for a full suite of data storage, analytics, modeling, and visualization, with a dashboard that quickly gives city decision makers the information they need to implement and focus their prevention processes. Of note was the resulting discovery of a link between construction sites – a breeding ground for insects that carry the disease – and the number of dengue fever cases in humans. Based on this finding, city planners were able to better focus their public health efforts in these areas.
In 2015, EMC is planning to expand this smart cities effort to help with additional health issues, as well as traffic and congestion.