NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Johnson & Johnson’s “industry-first hybrid cloud” stores 2.8 times the amount of data that Google processes every day, according to one of the company’s Executive Vice Presidents.

The executive, Sandra Peterson, recently told a group of investors present at an industry conference that as a leader in cloud computing, the Hub City-based company also has its own enterprise data warehouse containing about 500 terabytes of data, or 2.5 times the amount of data stored in the Internal Revenue Service’s warehouse.

In her opening remarks at the “Consumer and Medical Devices Business Review” on May 18, Peterson spoke of her company’s collaborations with Google and IBM Watson, which entails a partnership with Apple.

“We really are in a new era of innovation in healthcare… we believe we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of that opportunity,” said Peterson, emphasizing the innovation was being driven and “powered by technology.”

“We are a data-rich company and we know how to process this data,” said Peterson. “Everyday our reporting and analytics capabilities process more than 10 billion rows of data, so every single day we do what eBay does every single day.” She added that as the healthcare giant does its day-to-day work, the numbers are only increasing.

Peterson said cloud computing, the practice of using a network of remote Internet servers to store, manage, and process data, is “making technology aquistions cheap and fast — if you do it right.”

Saying J&J operates “like a very large sophisticated technology company,” Peterson noted the global pharmaceutical corporation spends more than $2 billion on technology, innovation and simply supporting the commercial side of its businesses, including research and development.

“J&J is thinking about technology and how we’re using technology to not only impact in a very positive way patients, but also consumers around the world,” said Peterson.

“We believe that technology combined with our expertise can have a positive impact, not only with our businesses, but most importantly with patients and consumers,” said Peterson, echoing a theme that J&J’s chief executive Alex Gorsky had touched on.

“Technology is incredibly important to the work we are doing in our pharmaceutical sector as well,” said Peterson.

“Obviously, the work that we are doing with our data scientists is really helping support the development of molecules the discovery of understanding disease pathways … [and] really having a positive impact on improving adherence engagement with patients who are on therapies.”

Conveying her many years in healthcare, Peterson spoke of global “transformation” and “changes” of a “larger [and] more substantial” nature, then she’d ever personally experienced.

“We all know about millions of new patients that are entering the healthcare system,” she said.

She spoke about “lots of change in healthcare,” industry consolidations, changes impacting growth in the healthcare system and changes in healthcare models, including payment provider models.

“The other trend is the shift to care,” said Peterson, adding that, “Care is no longer happening only in the hospital, the amount of care that is occurring in minute clinics in small emergency centers, but also online and remote in many places around the world is shifting the role of hospitals and is shifting care much closer to the people around the globe.”

“We are in a new era of technological change – it happens periodically in the tech industry and we are seeing one of those right now,” said Peterson, citing the widespread use of cellular phones. “There are more mobile phones in the world than there are human beings.”

Exploring how healthcare connects to topics like analytics and big data, Peterson said, “The tech industry has as many buzz words as the healthcare industry.”

“Whether its machine learning, natural language processing, artificial intelligence…Those things, though, are also having an impact on how we can analyze the data, what trends we can see and what impact it could have on our understanding of patients, patients, outcomes.”

And she told everyone something they perhaps didn’t know. As she put it: “We release about 450 apps a year—that’s about 40 a month. Our sites have about 500,000 unique visitors every single day, so in the first hour of this meeting we’ve interacted with 20,000 people.” 

Dave is an award-winning business reporter who has authored over 200 articles for New Brunswick Today.