Snowflake has launched a cloud-based data-sharing platform for the healthcare industry that integrates the company’s core data warehousing, analytics and business intelligence offerings with a data marketplace and on-demand consulting services.
The Healthcare & Life Sciences Data Cloud platform was developed in response to the growing burden on the healthcare sector worldwide from the coronavirus pandemic. The SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offering is a fusion of Snowflake’s core applications and third-party services.
As part of the new cloud service, Snowflake offers machine learning and other applications from technology partners including Alation, Dataiku, Amazon Web Services (AWS), H20.ai, ThoughtSpot, Health Catalyst, Strata and IQVIA.
The integration between the software and other components of the platform aims to reduce the time it takes healthcare companies to implement applications and bring new services to market.
According to Todd Crosslin, head of Health and Life Sciences at Snowflake, the applications help companies access big data at scale for critical processes and business insights within their organization and in collaboration with industry partners.
Health platform offers data marketplace
For its data market, Snowflake has attracted companies such as Compile, Equifax, Invaitae, IQVIA, Precision X and SameSky Health. The marketplace was designed to allow businesses to securely share critical data sets, eliminating the need for traditional data sharing methods that require data copying and moving.
“For example, IQVIA aggregates data from around the world and then markets and sells that data to global pharmaceutical companies,” Crosslin said.
“But now they have made the same data available through the Snowflake Data Marketplace as 20 out of 30 leading global pharmaceutical companies are on Snowflake. These pharmaceutical companies can now access this live data from IQVIA via Marketplace instead of copying it.”
On the consulting side, Snowflake has partnered with consulting firms and systems integrators such as Cognizant, Deloitte, Infosys, NTT DATA, phData and SDG.
Companies can consult with these partners to accelerate their transformation journeys or shorten their time to a critical minimum viable product, Crosslin said, adding that there are several ways to hire systems integrators or consulting firms.
Bundling Snowflake’s core services along with third-party products and services has been one of the company’s most recent growth initiatives.
“Data exchange and data marketplace offerings became a major new push and market opportunity for Snowflake in 2021. These offerings promise to push the company even further beyond the boundaries of data warehousing and analytics,” said Doug Henschen, senior analyst at Constellation Research.
This isn’t Snowflake’s first industry-specific cloud platform. The company had previously entered the financial services and media industries.
Industry-specific clouds simplify partnerships
“The promise in Snowflake’s industry-specific cloud and associated sharing and marketplace capabilities removes friction from innovation-enabling and value-added partnerships. Snowflake’s interest is in charging fees for facilitating these transactions, and it’s gaining resilience by being the platform standard for users of these industry-specific clouds,” Henschen said, adding that Snowflake needs to continue adding partners in order to achieve its try to be successful.
However, he warned that data marketplaces and data sharing are not new trends and that there have been failed attempts by well-known providers in the past. “Today, among others, AWS and Microsoft Azure have data exchanges, but I don’t hear much about them.”
But Crosslin believes that regulatory compliance requirements, coupled with the consolidation trend in the healthcare industry, will increase the success of its new cloud data platform.
“While companies are still warming to the idea of data sharing in healthcare, we’re seeing a growing trend. Sharing data is no longer a one-way street and our compliance with regulatory standards like HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] Make sure customers using Snowflake can easily share data with each other,” said Crosslin.