Lifestyle changes can prevent the onset of a host of chronic diseases—but you need to know early enough to take corrective steps to avert the illness. Nightingale Health took on the challenge.
The company offers a groundbreaking blood-testing health solution—“My Nightingale”—that uses advanced proprietary analysis algorithms running on IBM Storage and Nutanix solutions.
Helpsto enable seamless service to customers worldwide with rapid, secure data access
SupportsNightingale in extending its services into new markets via global, fast scaling
Empowerspeople to live healthier lives through personalized, preventative healthcare
Business challenge story
Moving from treatment to wellness
The world is facing a chronic disease crisis, with more people contracting conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes than ever before. Today’s healthcare organizations are struggling to turn the tide because they tend to be overly focused on treatment, and interact with patients only when they get sick.
Teemu Suna, CEO of biotech company Nightingale Health, explains: “Our current approach to healthcare should more appropriately be called ‘sick-care’. It works well at saving people’s lives, but it misses out on the huge improvements to quality of life and cost-efficiency that are possible if you prevent people contracting chronic diseases in the first place.”
The World Health Organization estimates that premature heart disease, stroke and diabetes can be prevented in 80 percent of cases with lifestyle interventions. By modifying their lifestyle, people at risk of chronic disease can lengthen and improve the quality of their lives significantly. The challenge is recognizing how different lifestyle changes mitigate individual disease risks, and how to detect the risk early enough to make lifestyle interventions effective. With different tactics working well for some people and not for others, finding the approach that optimizes outcomes for an individual is also difficult.
Tuning into unique insights
In response to this challenge, Nightingale Health developed revolutionary blood analysis technology that reveals unique molecular insights into a person. Specifically, the company uses high frequency magnets to make molecules within a blood sample resonate, measures the results and analyzes the data with proprietary algorithms to capture large amounts of biological data. Using this unprecedented visibility, the company predicts the future risk of a person developing chronic diseases, enabling people to take proactive measures to prevent their onset.
Nightingale Health had a winning concept and grand ambitions—now it needed the technology to back them up. Suna says: “Our goal is to bring truly personalized, preventative healthcare to the entire world’s population, which is nearing eight billion people. We are taking on this mission with our recently announced ‘My Nightingale’ health solution.
“However, we had outgrown our existing IT infrastructure—our data had grown to hundreds of terabytes and we expected to hit petabytes before long. To fulfil our international expansion plans, we needed to step up the performance and scalability of our IT infrastructure.”
Homing in on powerful technology
Nightingale Health chose a private cloud infrastructure based on IBM Cloud Object Storage and Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure solutions. The combination of IBM and Nutanix technology gives the company an easy-to-deploy, simple-to-manage IT environment with powerful functionality.
“The key thing that attracted us to the IBM Cloud Object Storage and Nutanix offering was the ease-of-use,” recalls Suna. “Because so many countries place limitations on the movement of health data, it was critical for us to have on-premises storage capabilities, but we also wanted cloud capabilities where we could move data freely but always know exactly which jurisdiction it resides in.
“With other vendors, the proposed architecture quickly became complicated. In contrast, the IBM and Nutanix solution basically maintains itself, allowing us to focus on our business rather than managing IT resources. IBM Cloud Object Storage integrates seamlessly into a virtualized environment such as the Nutanix cluster we selected, while giving us the flexibility to consider connecting it to other application environments in the future.”
Another factor in Nightingale Health’s decision was the global reach and reputation of IBM. Following the implementation in Finland, the company plans to replicate the private cloud deployment in sites across the world as part of a global rollout.
“Working in healthcare, data privacy is such a priority that we can only work with the most trusted partners,” comments Suna. “IBM is a byword for security, ticking the boxes for us. Also, as we expand across borders, we’re confident that IBM can provide the local resources we need to repeat this successful implementation and adapt the infrastructure to meet in-country requirements.”
Seizing control of data
Nightingale Health is taking advantage of flexible storage capabilities built into IBM Cloud Object Storage to achieve value quickly and to lay the foundations for future innovation. With concentrated dispersal, the company can deploy a relatively small amount of capacity initially, and incrementally add resources and interfaces as its business grows and it investigates new use cases. The high-performance access allows Nightingale Health to get hold of essential information quickly, while online policy-based archiving enables cost-effective long-term retention. Data is kept safe and secure with extreme reliability and efficiency for more than a lifetime and as a result, the company can balance performance with price, ensuring it can control costs without restricting user productivity.
“When developing and training machine learning models, we need immediate access to huge data sets within the limits of consent and regulation,” explains Suna. “At the same time, to align with healthcare regulations, we must retain data for as long as decades. Nutanix and IBM Cloud Object Storage enables us to meet both these needs in parallel. Looking to the future, we have the right infrastructure to explore new use cases in analytics without limits.”
Since deploying its new IBM and Nutanix infrastructure, Nightingale Health has seen performance soar, helping the company supercharge productivity. Suna comments: “When we installed the IBM and Nutanix solutions, we saw performance increase at least tenfold. The impact on our operations was immediate: we can build and train models faster, increasing the speed of our R&D [research and design].
“Preventative healthcare only works if you get insights to people soon enough for them to take effective action—and this is now enabled by the ‘My Nightingale’ health solution. With the powerful IBM and Nutanix technology supporting ‘My Nightingale’, we can rapidly deliver results of our blood analysis and point clients in the right direction when it comes to their health. Our goal will be to engage with people on an ongoing basis, carrying out later tests that uncover whether the lifestyle changes they undertake are working or not and how effectively. To scale out “My Nightingale” globally, we need very high-performance infrastructure.”
Zooming towards target
Supported by dynamic IBM and Nutanix solutions, Nightingale Health is in a position to bring a similar dynamism to healthcare delivery. The company has seized a competitive advantage and is working fast to capitalize on it.
“Getting up and running with the IBM and Nutanix infrastructure so quickly is enabling us to achieve short time-to-market for our unique proposition,” says Suna. “We’re determined to make our approach to health a global standard, and we now have the IT foundations to back up this mission. The IBM and Nutanix solutions are designed to scale seamlessly, so we can accommodate the growing demand that we feel is inevitable.”
Nightingale Health is seeing its vision for truly personalized, predictive healthcare come to life, heralding a new era where people live longer and healthier lives, and healthcare offers the tools for everyone to take better care of their well-being.
Suna concludes: “Nightingale Health is planning to make a difference to the world by changing the way that we understand our health and optimize our lifestyles. We’re delivering a new era for health all over the world, greatly supported by our partnership with IBM and Nutanix. Beyond healthcare, our pioneering solutions are already making an impact on medical research by helping scientists to make new discoveries. Eventually many of these findings will be included in ‘My Nightingale’ health solutions to benefit everyone. With the global reach of IBM on our side, we’re confident that we won’t stumble along the way.”
Nightingale Health is a biotech company that is targeting a solution to the global chronic disease crisis, so that everyone can live a healthier life, in healthier societies. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, the company creates pioneering products that enable active prevention of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.