Diagram B. V. places itself at the heart of cardiology research

IBM SPSS software supports world-leading medical breakthroughs

Published on 19-Aug-2011

Validated on 02 Dec 2013

"With IBM SPSS Statistics, Diagram has a world-class analytics platform that matches our world-class reputation as a research organisation. We will continue to use SPSS to support our research, and hope to make further breakthroughs that enhance patient care and improve outcomes across the whole spectrum of cardiology." - Dr. Ed de Kluiver, Director, Diagram B. V.

Customer:
Diagram B.V.

Industry:
Healthcare

Deployment country:
Netherlands

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, Information Integration, BA - Predictive Analytics, Optimizing IT

Overview

Diagram B. V. is a non-academic medical research organisation attached to the Isala Klinieken hospital in Zwolle in the Netherlands. The hospital is the largest centre for cardiology in the country; it has the highest number of outpatients and carries out the greatest volume of specialist cardiac procedures each year.

Business need:
As a contract research organisation that specialises in cardiology research, Diagram B. V. needs to be able to collect, analyse and model large quantities of data related to clinical trials and other research projects.

Solution:
IBM® SPSS® Statistics provides Diagram with a robust and scalable statistical analysis platform that is flexible enough to be used in a wide range of research projects – helping to develop new medical procedures, reengineer clinical processes, and ultimately promote patient safety.

Benefits:
Supports ground-breaking research, helping Diagram publish papers and win research funding. Diagram has established four professorships, contributed to more than 25 completed doctoral studies, and averages at least 25 publications each year. Diagram's research has contributed to an overall improvement in the survival rate for patients in the Netherlands suffering from acute myocardial infarction by five percentage points. Gives Diagram an analytics platform that is widely respected in the healthcare sector. Provides a comprehensive set of analytical tools while remaining user-friendly.

Case Study

To read a Dutch version of this case study, click here.

Diagram B. V. is a non-academic medical research organisation attached to the Isala Klinieken hospital in Zwolle in the Netherlands. The hospital is the largest centre for cardiology in the country; it has the highest number of outpatients and carries out the greatest volume of specialist cardiac procedures each year.

Diagram was founded as a cardiology research group in 1982, and became a limited company in 1996. It specialises in contract research, supporting pharmaceutical and medical device companies in single-centre and multi-centre clinical trials in cardiology, and also plans and manages complete research projects. The company has 40 employees, including research nurses, full-time epidemiologists, clinical research associates, project coordinators and IT engineers, serving 22 cardiologists and several Ph.D. students.

The results of Diagram’s research have been impressive: it has been able to establish four professorships and has contributed to more than 25 completed doctoral studies, as well as averaging at least 25 publications in scientific journals each year. Its research has contributed to an overall improvement in the survival rate for patients in the Netherlands suffering from acute myocardial infarction by five percentage points. This equates to approximately 2,000 lives saved each year.

The use of statistical analysis in medical research
“We work on a wide variety of research projects, including some very large scale clinical trials with hundreds or even thousands of patients,” comments Dr. Ed de Kluiver, Director of Diagram B. V. “As a result, we often have vast quantities of data, which we need to analyse carefully to support our publications.

“In the field of medical research, reputation is extremely important. As one of the world’s leading cardiology research organisations, it is important for us to use the best possible tools for the job. IBM SPSS Statistics has been a key component in our research for nearly 30 years now because it has consistently been regarded as one of the best – if not the best – statistical analysis packages available in the medical sector.”

Putting Zwolle on the map
Some of Diagram’s greatest achievements have been supported by the use of SPSS software. For example, analyses performed using SPSS were featured in a series of famous articles in the New England Journal of Medicine describing the use of balloon angioplasty in the treatment of myocardial infarctions. The research project that spawned these articles put Zwolle on the map as a major international centre for cardiology research; in fact, the procedure is today known around the world as the ‘Zwolle treatment’.

“The development of the Zwolle treatment was based on a complex set of clinical trials that generated a considerable amount of data,” explains Dr. de Kluiver. “The use of SPSS software to analyse results in different populations within the study was vital to our success; the solution helped us build a clear and robust case for the effectiveness of this treatment which has now become a standard procedure for cardiologists around the world.”

Recent success
More recently, Diagram has had another major success with the development of a new methodology for pre-hospital triage of acute myocardial infarctions. Based on extensive surveys conducted with patients, hospitals and ambulance services, the research team has developed an algorithm that paramedics can use to determine the probability of myocardial infarction while the patient is still in the ambulance. If the probability is high, the process then directs the ambulance to the nearest hospital that is equipped to deal with the condition, and prompts paramedics to begin appropriate treatment while en route.

“Once again, SPSS was a vital tool, enabling us to analyse patterns in the survey data and determine the most important factors in the successful pre-hospital diagnosis and treatment of myocardial infarction,” comments Dr. de Kluiver.

Comprehensive and easy to use
“One of the best things about IBM SPSS Statistics is its versatility,” says Dr. de Kluiver. “For our epidemiologists and advanced statisticians, it provides a comprehensive toolset for very sophisticated analyses. At the same time, it’s very easy to use, so even non-expert medical staff can pick it up quickly, with minimal need for training.

“We actually make SPSS training a key part of our Ph.D. program, which ensures that all our students gain enough statistical knowledge to be able to author and criticise medical publications effectively. They generally take to it very quickly: it is such an intuitive solution that most people can get used to it in a few hours.”

He concludes: “With IBM SPSS Statistics, Diagram has a world-class analytics platform that matches our world-class reputation as a research organisation. We will continue to use SPSS to support our research, and hope to make further breakthroughs that enhance patient care and improve outcomes across the whole spectrum of cardiology.”

About IBM Business Analytics
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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
SPSS Statistics Standard

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Nederland hoofdkantoor Johan Huizingalaan 7651066 VH Amsterdam Produced in the Netherlands August 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and SPSS are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at http://www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.