University of Arizona College of Pharmacy switches to IBM Linux system for big data management

Previous MacOS system had insufficient input-output capability, speed

ARMONK, N.Y. — The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy is switching from a MacOS-based platform to an IBM system running Linux to manage growth of big data.

IBM said Wednesday that the Tucson, Ariz., college was using an IBM zEnterprise mainframe running the IBM DB2 database software on Linux to analyze and process 3 million medical claims per week. A business partner of IBM, Sirius Computer Solutions, helped the college move to the new system, which reduces the time it takes to process medical claims by 60%.

The college's Medication Management Center, a pharmacist-run center that provides personalized medication therapy management services, has more than 2.5 million members, making it necessary to have the ability to quickly and efficiently analyze so-called "big data," including medical records, medication information and claims. Previously, the college relied on a Mac Pro server to manage data, but its input-output capabilities were not sufficient, and the system became slow.

"Among the number of reasons we chose IBM's zEnterprise platform was its reliability and almost unlimited scalability," college MTM Center associate director Kevin Barber said. "zEnterprise allows us to focus on the applications and service we deliver to our patients and not on the constant maintenance of our hardware and software technology."


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