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April 11, 2018

DataStax Helps Deliver ‘Always-On’ Health Advice

Staff Report

(everything possible/Shutterstock)

An AI-based virtual health consultation service rolled out in the U.K. and Rwanda is built on a distributed cloud database built by DataStax on Apache Cassandra.

The new regional health service also illustrates how cloud provisioning is allowing vendors like DataStax, Santa Clara, Calif., to extend its database platform

DataStax and London-based Babylon, an online health service provider, said this week they have launched a 24/7 a real-time application service based on DataStax Enterprise. The service provides virtual consultations with doctors and health care professionals via text, video messaging and an AI-based chat bot.

The provider currently has 1.4 million across the U.K and the east African nation of Rwanda. Most users access the health service via mobile devices, presenting an additional security challenge for protecting personal medical data. Babylon went with the Cassandra-based platform to deliver a “health device in an instant” platform with a comprehensive data layer that could scale with high availability.

“We required an ‘always-on’ data layer to support this service,” said Mohammad Khodadadi, director of data at Babylon. The company said it expects to expand the health consultation service to other countries.

DataStax touts its enterprise platform as allowing customers to deploy applications in the cloud while maintaining control over where specific sets of data are stored, who has access to them and how that data is used over time.

“Healthcare data is particularly sensitive, while access to trained clinical experts can be incredibly time-consuming to arrange,” noted Martin James, DataStax’s regional vice president for northern Europe. The new health service “supports patients getting treatment advice right now, when they need it and over the channel that best suits them,” James added.

DataStax’s enterprise platform based on Apache Cassandra also embeds Apache Spark to natively support operational analytics. As more users seek to roll out “always-on” applications, the platform integrates analytics, graph search and developer tooling.

New applications like the AI-based health services reflect the industry trend toward shifting database provisioning to the cloud, enabling vendors like DataStax to offer platforms that can be scaled to different regions. The company accelerated its cloud strategy in 2016 with its acquisition of DataScale, the Apache Spark and Cassandra hosting service.

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