Building A Center Of Data Excellence: How Vyaire Medical Is Reinventing Its Business With Centralized Analytics

Imagine demand for your medical product suddenly increases by a factor of 20 because a rising number of patients can’t breathe—and you need to deliver, fast.

With lives on the line, reinventing its data infrastructure on the cloud allowed Vyaire Medical to rapidly scale ventilator manufacturing from 6 to 600 units per day in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global medical device maker built a comprehensive, interconnected data system on the cloud and applied machine learning (ML) to streamline production, break down data silos, and reduce costs—all of which has helped save thousands of lives.

Accelerating operational efficiency to meet global demand

Complex legacy systems and a lack of data analytics capabilities remain a common source of anxiety for businesses struggling to go digital, particularly in the healthcare sector. Companies like Vyaire, which are beholden to strict specifications and regulatory requirements, need to make sure they have the right data to drive manufacturing and meet customer demand. 

An environment with immature data tools and practices can hinder innovation and smart decision-making. In the absence of a solid data strategy, organizations often fall victim to:

  1. Stunted growth due to silos: Storing data in multiple locations creates inconsistencies and redundancies. And the absence of a unified view of data has significant consequences. “As a business leader, you have very limited capability to make good decisions and drive results,” says Ed Rybicki, senior vice president and chief information officer at Vyaire Medical.
  2. Unnecessary costs and rigidity: Traditional BI tools, usually considered legacy or on-premises solutions, aren’t designed to handle large data sets and accommodate changes in company growth. “That kind of model didn’t fit the dynamic environment we were in,” says Rybicki. “From an IT perspective, we needed to make sure that we found tools that could not only expand rapidly, but could contract costs. Otherwise, we would have had a cost burden for years and years to come.”
  3. A data accessibility problem: Leadership teams can’t use data for good decision-making if they have limited access to data. “C-level executives like our COO, our head of supply chain and logistics, the CFO who was having trouble understanding the books and how things were flowing through to the bottom line—they were all the key advocates in helping us make a change,” Rybicki says.

How Vyaire Medical delivered better patient care with centralized analytics

Respiratory technology demand skyrocketed across the globe in March 2020. Facing shortages and worldwide capacity limitations, medical device manufacturers recognized a need to quickly expand production without sacrificing quality.

To ramp up ventilator manufacturing, Vyaire partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a foundational data analytics platform that centralized data from across the organization.

The platform provides wide data accessibility and availability, enabling manufacturing leaders to get the information they need to immediately improve operations and throughput in the production process.

With a highly-scalable data lake in place, Vyaire now has a single source of truth delivering near real-time data for faster and more informed decision-making.

“We now have a three-pronged data platform,” explains Rybicki. “One is really focused on corporate analytics, things like revenue and sales, and ordering and manufacturing. The other one is focused on our digital initiatives, so using some of that same data or augmenting other data.”

One example of how Vyaire is innovating with data is through data insights derived from in-hospital ventilators. The company has been able to feed data from ventilators in hospitals into their data warehouse on AWS and use it to quickly react to patient needs on the ground. “Hospital workers, like respiratory therapists who are actually there with patients, are now getting even more insight in near real time so they can provide better and more personalized patient care.”

Even before the pandemic, Vyaire identified a need to centralize data and set out to build a technology platform around it. “This was the right strategy for us because it gave us the ability to measure and drive improvement,” says Rybicki. “You can’t improve what you can’t measure. So we built a platform around half a dozen key KPIs, and it expanded exponentially over a 12-month period when we were responding to the pandemic. Now, it’s widely recognized throughout the company as the authoritative source for information.”

With a data strategy based on centralizing data and analytics, Vyaire was able to manufacture at scale and solve problems with new use cases. “Now there’s over a hundred KPIs and there’s over 50 dashboards—everything from HR and finance to supply chain and even some IT dashboards,” adds Rybicki. “So I can confidently say we are a data-driven decision-making company.”

Key takeaways for business leaders starting or scaling their data strategy

For healthcare companies and beyond, data and analytics on the cloud can help teams be more agile to meet demand shifts and customer expectations. Organizations can follow these practices from Vyaire to help them become more data-driven:

  • Start with stakeholder groups. A clear data strategy starts with a cohesive view of the problems at hand. Form stakeholder groups at various levels of the organization to better understand how information flows from top to bottom, challenges, and KPIs. This will allow company leadership to improve data democratization and break down silos. 
  • Show incremental value. Once your organization starts to execute on the strategy, it is essential to get stakeholders aligned on the value of technological and organizational changes. Start with a single use case or data project which could be a springboard for future wins. Demonstrate wins by tracking short milestones and reality mapping progress along the way.
  • Innovate with new use cases. Vyaire’s platform saw exponential growth to the point where new KPIs and dashboards were built to expand into new use cases. As you build your own data and analytics capabilities, consider how you can unlock opportunities through new reports, applications, predictive analytics and other AI/ML use cases. Rybicki notes, “Like many other companies, we are not only considered a manufacturing company, but we’re also starting to sell software to our customers so they can do things based on that same data platform.”

Vyaire Medical has reinvented its ventilator production and supply chain with a robust centralized analytics platform.

Learn more about how your organization can also harness data and new technology to deliver for customers.

The Tycoon Herald