To centralize research on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in a first-of-its-kind knowledge platform, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) needed a security-rich hosting solution.
CCFA deployed a hybrid IBM Cloud Platform running IBM Cloud Data Encryption Services technology, managed by IBM Integrated Managed Infrastructure Services and IBM Managed Security Services teams.
Meets security standardsfor hosting sensitive medical information, including encryption of data at rest and in transit
Inspires confidenceand encourages patients and medical centers to participate in critical research initiatives
Accelerates researchand speeds progress by sharing data across academic and industry resources
Business challenge story
Centralizing IBD research and knowledgeTo speed progress toward precision treatment and cures for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), CCFA is bringing together IBD research and insight in a centralized knowledge platform. “There are countless research initiatives going on, but data from those programs sits in silos and does not get shared across academic and industry efforts,” says Angela Dobes, IBD Plexus director at CCFA.
CCFA sought an expert cloud provider to build and manage a security-rich hosting environment for the IBD Plexus initiative. “We do not have the central infrastructure to store, organize and disseminate data across multiple research programs,” says Dobes. “And we don’t maintain in-house expertise to manage the scale of what IBD Plexus will ultimately become.”
Launching on hybrid cloud infrastructure
Performing an in-depth evaluation of Amazon and IBM cloud offerings, CCFA chose an IBM solution based on the IBM Cloud Platform dedicated hosting options, comprehensive managed services and robust security capabilities. “With IBM Cloud infrastructure, we give patients, caregivers and medical centers confidence that we will protect their health information,” says Dobes.
CCFA will host the IBD Plexus platform in a hybrid cloud environment with dedicated IBM Cloud bare metal and virtual servers running the powerful IBM Cloud Data Encryption Services software-defined solution for safeguarding sensitive information. The organization engaged IBM Integrated Managed Infrastructure Services and IBM Managed Security Services teams to manage and support the IBM Cloud infrastructure.
Furthering research to improve patient care
With the IBM Cloud solution, CCFA addresses critical security standards for hosting medical data. “One of the requirements for our solution was that it meets all HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] regulations,” says Dobes. “There are certain technical standards we have to meet, including encryption of data at rest and in transit, and with IBM, we knew we could move forward.”
Confidence in the platform’s security is also crucial in gathering the data needed to advance IBD research. “When patients consent to a research study or a clinical site gives CCFA the right to pull information from its electronic medical record system, they have to feel that the solution is secure,” says Dobes. “Trust in our solution’s security is the most critical component. Without the data, the initiative fails.”
By teaming with IBM, CCFA is well-positioned to further its ultimate objective. “We are transforming the way research is conducted,” says Dobes. “Sharing patient data across the researcher community accelerates new scientific discoveries and enables healthcare providers to develop more accurate care plans tailored to the unique needs of each patient.”
About Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America
Established in 1967, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is a nonprofit organization committed to finding cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improving quality of life for children and adults affected by these diseases.
- IBM Bluemix
- IBM Bluemix Bare Metal Servers
- IBM Cloud Managed Services