Data Analytics –
Identify Illness Before
Your Body Does


Human beings are complex. Each of us carries a unique genome, comprised of DNA, genetic mapping, hereditary information and biological characteristics. In other words, humans are made up of millions of individual data points. Now, as data analytics technology evolves, we can harness and sequence this data to identify trends, detect disease, predict medical complications and ultimately deliver more comprehensive and affordable care.

“Medical technology and information technology have both evolved to an exciting place where we can now combine the two areas of expertise to help make smarter, safer decisions,” said Melissa Rhoads, a biotechnology strategist at Lockheed Martin. “In the past, we didn’t have the data processing power to make sense of genomic data on the scale needed to be useful, but that’s all changing now.”

Genomics, the study of the genome or the entire genetic makeup of an organism, may be the key to personalized and predictive medicine.

How it Works
Today, new cars show a warning light before service is required and when you go into a mechanic, the service professional knows exactly what type of oil to provide and what parts and tools to use. That’s because auto manufacturers study and document the performance of their products and understand exactly when issues will most likely occur and how to fix them.

We can apply the same concept to medical care. By sequencing enough genomes and analyzing enough scenarios, doctors will be able to understand and predict how unique people will react to specific treatments and when they may be more susceptible to certain disease.

“To understand the genetic factors that predict disease or a patients’ response to medication, you have to examine the data of thousands of people,” said Rhoads. “Our big data knowhow has finally matured to a state where that amount of information can be processed and turned into real action.”

Now it’s Personal
Humans are unique as they are complex. Everyone reacts differently to treatments based on their genetic makeup and DNA, and each person has a different likelihood for contracting disease based on a variety of factors. Currently, doctors prescribe drugs and administer treatments based on symptoms and known family history. In the future, doctors will be able to make decisions, not just on symptoms and family history, but on the analytical data of millions of patients with similar genomics and experiences. That translates to cheaper, more efficient and more effective care.

“With recent advances in genetics and bioinformatics, personalized medicine is rapidly becoming the future of healthcare,” said Michael Hultner, chief scientist for Lockheed Martin’s Health & Life Sciences group. “The ability to match treatment – and even prevention – to a person’s genetics is the promise of this exciting science."

Detecting Disease
Data analytics is also helping with early disease detection. For example, in partnership with medical experts, Lockheed Martin applied its signal processing and data analytics expertise to help detect sepsis earlier and with more consistency.

Sepsis is caused when chemicals deployed by the body to fight infection inadvertently cause inflammation, which can lead to organ failure and even death. As with almost all disease, sepsis is more effectively treated the sooner it’s identified.

Using patients’ vital signs, lab reports and other indicating features, Lockheed Martin developed a predictive formula that was able to detect sepsis 14 to 16 hours earlier than current methods and with 19 percent more reliability for positive tests and 76 percent more reliability for patients testing negative.

“Lockheed Martin’s data analytics leverages the best in science, clinical protocols and data processing to achieve unparalleled levels of detection accuracy,” said Heather Lavoie, President of Geneia. “We see broad potential to use the approach for early detection and high accuracy across numerous conditions to cost-effectively improve the health of our customers.” 

The results are in:  this quicker, more reliable testing leads to more comprehensive and affordable patient care. And, experts see the approach having far-reaching applications throughout the medical community.

“Lockheed Martin’s leadership in science and data analytics is having a profound effect on recovery rates for patients who develop sepsis,” added Mark Caron, Chief Information Officer at Capital BlueCross. “With the use of advanced technology and improved patient care, hospitals can achieve direct savings potential in avoidable hospitalizations and readmissions, as well as efficiencies in the management of data, while also promoting better health outcomes.”

Lockheed Martin’s Role
After honing its data management skills in the aerospace and defense market for decades, Lockheed Martin now sees applications to improve areas like cyber security, medial analytics, forecasting, energy management and more.

“Nearly every system Lockheed Martin builds, from satellites and airplanes to missile defense systems and combat ships, has advanced sensors that produce massive volumes of data,” said Brad Pietras, Lockheed Martin vice president of technology.  “Today, the cost of sequencing continues to decline, and the amount and availability of data is dramatically increasing.  There are about three billion nucleotides in a single human DNA sequence spread across twenty three chromosomes creating a massive big data problem.  Lockheed Martin has the expertise to organize, analyze, and partner with the scientific community to understand this data and facilitate the next breakthrough in modern medicine and healthcare.”

In the aerospace and defense world, data security is critical. Medical care is no different. Genomics and health information is highly sensitive and must be protected and kept private.

“Cyber security is at the core of everything we do,” Pietras added.  “Advances in medical care will come about by correlating observations of patient outcome with both treatments and genomic data.  Our goal is to accelerate these advances by bringing advanced computing techniques to the healthcare market, reduce the cost of analysis, and ensure the privacy of patient data.”

September 30, 2013

  • By analyzing large and complex sets of medical data, Lockheed Martin is finding ways to identify health trends, detect disease, predict medical complications and ultimately deliver more comprehensive and affordable care.
  • Signal processing and data analytics expertise is helping detect sepsis earlier and with more consistency.
  • Lockheed Martin is using advanced data processing and cyber expertise gained from aerospace and defense work to now improve areas like medical support, energy management, forecasting and more.

Speaking of the Future: Data Analytics

Information is all around us. Data analytics - the ability to capture, manage and analyze complex sets of information - is the key to turning the flood of information into actionable intelligence. By analyzing the world around us -- we can improve decision making and business practices for industries all over the world.

Learn more about Data Analytics