Over the past year, I have been watching for evidence that NoSQL data management solutions are making their way into healthcare. A few startups that use NoSQL data stores have contacted me, but otherwise news of healthcare applications has been scarce. The number of hits on the MongoDB post (Investigating NoSQL for EHR Systems: MongoDB) from April has been growing steadily over the past few months, so it appears I am not alone in desiring more information about NoSQL in health care. Noting this interest, I have decided to share the NoSQL info I’ve found. I am adding a NoSQL resource page that, like the Clinical Workflow and Architecture/Design pages, includes references culled from MEDLINE, IEEE Xplore and the ACM digital library. In order to make way for the new page, the EHR Science menu structure will change slightly. The Petri Nets menu item will become a sub-item under Workflow. NoSQL will appear as an item in the main menu bar.
There are well over 100 NoSQL database products, making it impossible to comment on each one. So far, I have experimented with MongoDB (document database) and Neo4J (graph database), and I found both to be quite capable and useful. MongoDB and Neo4j are the consensus leaders in their respective categories, and each will be featured in its own series of posts. Sticking with category leaders, I have included links to Redis (key-value store) and Cassandra (wide-column store) as well. At some point, they will make it into a post, but no promises as to when.
It would be really nice to have access to quality case studies that address data modeling, scalability and other NoSQL software development and deployment issues. If you have suggestions for white papers or other resources (must not require registration) that would be appropriate, please submit them using the Contact page.
The NoSQL resource page will be updated monthly on the 19th along with the Security and Usability pages.