Get fresh updates from Hortonworks by email

Once a month, receive latest insights, trends, analytics information and knowledge of Big Data.

cta

Get Started

cloud

Ready to Get Started?

Download sandbox

How can we help you?

closeClose button
Hortonworks Customer

UNOS

We felt that Hortonworks offered more flexibility to leverage open source versus finding ourselves in a position with other providers that might lock us in.

- Alex Tulchinsky, Chief Technology Officer of UNOS

cloud UNOS Case Study

DOWNLOAD CASE STUDY

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the private, non-profit organization managing the United States organ transplant system. UNOS brings together hundreds of hospitals, transplant centers, organ procurement professionals, and thousands of volunteers. The mission of UNOS is to advance organ availability and transplantation by uniting and supporting communities for the benefit of patients through education, technology, and policy development. Put simply, UNOS exists to enable timely, life-saving organ transplants.

Challenge

Nearly 31,000 organs were transplanted in the United States in 2015 alone. Even with this success almost 120,000 people are still on the transplant list, and every year more than 50,000 people are added to this list. UNOS matches organ donors with organ recipients. UNOS is the critical component of a no-fail system. Organs have a very short life span outside of a human body. Kidneys, for instance, can only survive for 48 hours before they must be transplanted. Hearts and livers have even less time. UNOS must rapidly decide to whom an organ will be offered.

From the very beginning, UNOS has been a data-centric organization. They have data on every organ transplant performed in the United States since October of 1987. However, UNOS lacked an enterprise data warehouse (EDW). Their data analytics system was built on SAS, which provided analytics but was unable to merge disparate and large data sources, especially those with less structured or variable data formats.

Solution

When UNOS was considering its options for a Big Data solution, cost was of paramount concern. UNOS is a private non-profit organization that runs the nation’s transplant system under a contract with the Health Resources & Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services. Less than 10% of its funding comes from the government. The rest comes from fees as transplant hospitals pay to register patients on the waiting list for an organ transplant. Initially UNOS considered one of Hortonworks competitors, but quickly realized that the costs of that data solution could scale beyond their budget.

UNOS turned to Hortonworks for its open source approach to Big Data. This provided the flexibility to scale and to explore use cases that promised to transform UNOS’ processes.

Results

UNOS explored how to improve the quality, scope, and timeliness of their Organ Offer Report for transplant centers and organ procurement organizations. Members use these reports to review the eventual outcomes of organs offered to waitlist candidates and their doctors. By leveraging Hortonworks Connected Data Platforms and 100% open source tools, UNOS create a self-service reporting system for transplant centers and organ procurement organizations. These transplant centers were given automated, detailed, and visually rich reports on all organ offers they received and the outcome if it was transplanted. Moreover, the latency of producing this data was dramatically reduced from several weeks to days. UNOS is now working to reduce this time frame to only one day.

The data collected by UNOS is now retained within their data warehouse. UNOS’ data warehouse is providing doctors with a past and present look at patients and transplanted organs. This is giving them the information they need to make informed decisions in the best interest of their patients.