I saw a demonstration of Azyxxi
at HIMSS07. This system pulls healthcare information from
the various systems supporting a medical facility into a common database.

The information is used by
clinicians and healthcare professionals to create their own views of patient
and facility related data relevant to their roles in delivering, monitoring, or
managing care. 

Even though the data is stored
in SQL, they say it’s not a relational database. Instead of a series of tables with multiple
columns and primary keys, Azyxxi is “one big bucket” with multiple (virtually
unlimited) rows of entities, attributes, and values.

Why do this? Performance and flexibility are the primary

To quote the demonstrator,
Azyxxi “is banking on the continued decrease in the costs of storage”. They keep all of the data ever imported and
have dumped the traditional table structure of a relational database in favor
of the power of search and query. 

I’d be lying if I said I
understood the technology behind this.  

What I am beginning to
comprehend is the end result – a “connected health framework” in which patient
information is available to practitioners in virtually any form or view they
find useful, the content and appearance of which they can alter at any

That’s pretty amazing.