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November 22, 2010

National Marrow Donor Program to Speed Transplants with IBM Analytics Software

By Madhubanti Rudra, TMCnet Contributor

National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), an undisputed leader in the field of unrelated marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation, selected IBM's WebSphere Lombardi Business Process Management (BPM) software to help automate its donor and patient management process. Automation and speeding up of the process is critical for the both the patients and donors involved in the cellular transplant cases.


Minneapolis-based nonprofit, NMDP is dedicated to ensuring all patients who need a transplant receive access to this potentially life-saving treatment. Under federal government’s C.W. Bill Young (News - Alert) Transplantation Program, NMDP operates the national registry---more popular as the Be The Match Registry, which provides a single point of access for transplant centers and patients to marrow donors and cord blood units.

The organization also facilitates transplants worldwide; supports a global network of hospitals, blood centers, public cord blood banks, laboratories and recruitment centers; conducts research; and provides education and support to patients, donors and healthcare professionals.

The objective of NMDP in adopting IBM (News - Alert) software is to dramatically speed the time to transplant for bone marrow transplant patients, which currently average 96 days. According to NMDP, as a result of the adoption of IBM's WebSphere Lombardi Business Process Management (BPM) software, as many as 10,000 patients may benefit from a transplant each year in the U.S. alone. 

IBM's software incorporates advanced analytics, social networking and reporting to streamline the record matching process by automatically comparing millions of data records nationwide. These records include donor information, geographic location as well as patient and recipient data.

“Many of these patients need a transplant quickly to treat their life-threatening disease. We expect our newly combined application suite to significantly reduce the time to transplant. This will help more patients get the transplant they need, when they need it, NMDP CEO, Jeffrey W. Chell, explained in a statement.

With IBM's WebSphere Lombardi software the NMDP will be able to automate its screening processes, eliminating the need for complicated and time-consuming technical intervention and allowing staff to focus on facilitating the search process more effectively, IBM officials explained in the release. 

“This breakthrough at the NMDP is a prime example of how health analytics can be used to mine data in new ways and streamline processes. New approaches to analyzing patient data are advancing the state of medicine and influencing research. IBM has made a significant investment in analytics over the years and applied this expertise to healthcare with literally life-saving results,” said General Manager of IBM healthcare and life sciences, Dan Pelino.

A bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant can be used to treat patients with life-threatening blood, immune system or genetic disorders. The NMDP currently facilitates more than 5,000 transplants using unrelated donors or cord blood units each year. The NMDP operates the Be The Match Registry of more than eight million potential donors and more than 160,000 cord blood units. Through cooperative relationships with international registries, the organization provides access to a total of 14 million potential donors worldwide.

IBM is working with partners and clients to create a smarter, more connected healthcare system that delivers better care with fewer mistakes, predicts and prevents diseases and empowers people to make better choices.  

IBM supports the nation's leading healthcare providers such as Mayo, Kaiser, UPMC, Duke University Health System and Geisinger Health System with a broad range of technology and business solutions. This work extends from connecting electronic medical records among doctors, hospitals and pharmacies to improving care and reducing cost, to accelerating medical research with deep analytics that discover how well drugs work, to providing genomic advances that will help shape personalized patient care. 


Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard



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