Case Study

analyticsMD Gains Visibility Into Application Health With Splunk Light in the Cloud

Executive Summary

An emerging company based in Mountain View, CA, analyticsMD offers a software-based “Air Traffic Control” platform that boosts the operational efficiency of hospitals and improves patient care using machine learning and real-time analytics. analyticsMD needed to find a secure log monitoring solution that would give it full visibility into its data and could run in a HIPAA-compliant environment. Since deploying Splunk Light in its own Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, analyticsMD has seen benefits including:

  • Operational visibility into application security and performance
  • Improved compliance thanks to proactive monitoring
  • Enhanced customer communication and overall experience
Challenges
    • Required to conform to important compliance regulations regarding client communication
    • Needed visibility into health and performance of critical systems
    • Needed to be proactive rather than reactive about systems management
    • Wanted operational visibility to improve customer satisfaction
    • Needed to prioritize new application features from an engineering standpoint
Business Impact
    • Response time to any issues is now in the order of a few minutes
    • Full visibility into application performance, health, security
    • Helps the team focus on features which are commonly used by customers
    • Helps meet compliance auditing requirements
    • Improved transparency and trust with customer base
    • Able to scale business without adding extra staff
Data Sources
    • Logs from all data streams
    • Logs from all applications and application servers
    • Web servers, IP / networking logs
    • Authentication related logs: LDAP, model based, etc.

Why Splunk

analyticsMD’s HIPAA-compliant SaaS software empowers frontline teams at hospitals to make the right data-driven decisions regarding efficiency, patient safety and experience at the right time. To help healthcare managers proactively manage day-to-day operations, analyticsMD's algorithms analyze hospital data along important operational and clinical metrics. In addition, analyticsMD's machine learning-based forecasting techniques enable hospitals to predict potential operational pitfalls using real-time key metrics such as capacity, staffing levels and provider performance, and then prescribe appropriate counter measures to prevent potential operational challenges for hospitals.

analyticsMD is comprised of a team of leading technologists, software engineers and healthcare gurus. Its engineering group is in charge of developing platform features and managing on-the-ground IT operations for the entire organization. Pooja Gada, full stack software engineer at analyticsMD, says, “We looked at various open-source solutions and other individual network and log monitoring tools like syslog, but in the end, Splunk Light basically solved all our problems for us in one package. Splunk Light is flexible and has allowed us to get started quickly with the key product features of Splunk Enterprise at a price that made sense for us. I couldn’t come up with enough synonyms to describe how helpful Splunk has been to us.” To address its needs, analyticsMD has implemented the Splunk Light AMI (Amazon Machine Image) in its own HIPAA-compliant AWS instance.

Full operational visibility into application health and performance

With extremely sensitive information pouring in from healthcare providers, analyticsMD has to be extremely vigilant about keeping its cloud-based application platform secure and compliant. To that end, it is mission-critical for the team to have full visibility into systems performance, health and security. analyticsMD has set up Splunk alerting and monitoring dashboards to track messages it receives from its various clients. Says Ian Christopher, co-founder and CTO, analyticsMD, “We wanted to be able to get an immediate pulse-check—so to speak—on what is happening within the analyticsMD platform, so that we can proactively address any issues as they arise. Now, we are able to aggregate and drill down into all of our performance data. Splunk Light has also helped us reduce the effort which we have to put towards compliance, by enabling us to automate a lot of these log monitoring tasks.”

“We wanted to be able to get an immediate pulse-check—so to speak—on what is happening within the analyticsMD platform, so that we can proactively address any issues as they arise. Now, we are able to aggregate and drill down into all of our performance data. Splunk Light has also helped us reduce the effort which we have to put towards compliance, by enabling us to automate a lot of these log monitoring tasks.”



Ian Christopher
Co-Founder/CTO
analyticsMD

Guiding platform development to enhance the customer experience

The engineering team is also using Splunk Light to help guide overall platform development, as additional Splunk real-time dashboards enable them to track the ways end-users of the platform interact with different features of analyticsMD. This has allowed the team to pinpoint the most used features and areas of potential improvement, as well as gain other insights into usage patterns, for instance how long a customer might spend on a certain feature. Thanks to Splunk Light, the team can determine whenever customer-facing dashboards within analyticsMD are having performance issues, and proactively address those issues. Gada states, “Having this visibility has helped us improve our response times. If we get a notification, we can immediately approach a customer to let them know there is an issue. It’s completely changed the way we interact with our customers.”

analyticsMD is expecting to share certain data on its security monitoring policy with its customers as an additional part of compliance. Gada notes, “Moving forward, we will be able to use Splunk Light to provide transparency to our clients to further earn their trust. If any customer wants information on our security levels or response times, we can easily provide it.”

Enabling customer growth without IT staff growth

As the company extends its platform into more hospitals, Splunk Light continues to play an integral part in analyticsMD’s exponential growth. Gada concludes, “Having Splunk Light to automate our log analysis and monitoring function means we can add more customers without having to add more staff. It has been incredibly helpful to our business.”