Honors Program: QlikTech International

Project Name: Business software that saves lives

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The Importance of Technology

How did the technology you used contribute to this project and why was it important?

QlikView has four primary value propositions: it is rapid to implement, it is easy to use, it is fast, and it automatically builds associations between data. Each of these contributed to the success of the project.

Rapid implementation has meant that the entire trial was conducted in just three months. In addition, it was completed largely through the work of Stålhammar himself. This is a critical feature of QlikView implementations -- they are done by the "business users" themselves. So here we have a case of a doctor using a sophisticated business intelligence tool, not to analyze financial information, but to build an application for other doctors to use to save lives.

Simplicity and ease of- use are key features of QlikView. End users understand QlikView intuitively and dont require training. The user interface paradigm is simple: If you click on it, it turns green; if it associated, it turns white; if it's excluded, it's gray. This simplicity is exactly what doctors need when they are working against the clock to make difficult decisions. They simply click on a patient name, see the test results associated with that patient, their chart history, calculations of key metrics, all on a single screen. Then they can click and navigate freely, all while maintaining the context of the current selections.

Speed is of the essence when dealing with sick patients. Waiting hours, minutes or even seconds for results to come back is not acceptable. With a paper-based process, waiting is the norm. And, even when you have the information at hand, calculations can take precious time. With QlikView, all this can be done in milliseconds.

Finally, QlikView builds associations between data. The key requirement for this type of medical analysis is that the doctor can see linkages between a patient, a test result, a prior outcome, etc., without knowing ahead of time exactly what he was looking for. QlikViews Associative Data Model does exactly this -- it maps all the data elements and how they link, then displays this association (using the color scheme described above) to the user.

Originality

What are the exceptional aspects of your project?

What makes this project exceptional is twofold. First, the results are fantastic. Saving lives and saving precious medical resources is great, especially if you can do it quickly and inexpensively.

But what really makes this project original is that it features the use of BI software to solve a fundamentally human problem. Typically, BI software is deployed in for-profit companies for the purpose of increasing revenue or saving costs. And, typically, its deployed to the privileged few who are the business analysts.

At Sahlgrenska University Hospital, QlikView is being used to solve a very human problem. Its helping doctors make better decisions about patient care. And, more importantly, its being used by the very people who make those decisions. QlikView has empowered the doctors with the information they need at their fingertips, to make decisions better and faster, and to save lives.

Is it the first, the only, the best or the most effective application of its kind? Only.

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