Snowflake has launched a cloud-based, data-sharing platform for the healthcare industry that integrates the company\u2019s core data warehousing, analytics and business intelligence offerings with a data marketplace and on-demand consulting services.\n\nThe Healthcare & Life Sciences Data Cloud platform was designed in response to the growing burden on the healthcare sector globally due to the coronavirus pandemic. The SaaS (software as a service) offering is an amalgamation of Snowflake\u2019s core applications and third-party services.\n\nAs part of the new cloud service, Snowflake offers machine learning and other applications from technology partners such as Alation, Dataiku, Amazon Web Services (AWS), H20.ai, ThoughtSpot, Health Catalyst, Strata and IQVIA. Integration among the software and other components of the platform is meant to reduce the time it takes for healthcare companies to implement applications and bring new services to market. \n\nThe applications help enterprises access large volumes of data at scale for critical processes and business insights from within their organization and in collaboration with industry partners, according to Todd Crosslin, healthcare and life sciences industry principal at Snowflake.\n\nHealthcare platform offers data marketplace\n\nFor its data marketplace, Snowflake has attracted firms including Compile, Equifax, Invaitae, IQVIA, Precision X, and SameSky Health. The marketplace is designed to allow enterprises to securely exchange critical datasets, thereby eliminating the need for traditional data sharing methods requiring data copying and movement.\n\n\u201cFor example, IQVIA aggregates data from around the world, and then markets and sells that data to global pharmaceutical companies. But now what they have done is that they've made the same data available via the Snowflake Data Marketplace as 20 out of 30 top global pharmaceutical companies are on Snowflake. These pharmaceutical companies are now able to access that live data from IQVIA via the marketplace instead of copying it,\u201d Crosslin said.\n\nOn the consulting side, Snowflake has partnered with consulting management firms and system integrators such as Cognizant, Deloitte, Infosys, NTT DATA, phData, and SDG.\n\nEnterprises can consult with these partners to accelerate their transformation journeys or speed up their time to a critical minimum viable product, Crosslin said, adding that there are multiple ways that system integrators or consulting firms can be engaged.\n\nThe packaging of Snowflake\u2019s core services along with third party products and services has been a recent growth initiative for the company.\n\n\u201cData sharing and data marketplace offerings became an important new thrust and market opportunity for Snowflake in 2021. These offerings promise to bring the company even further beyond the confines of data warehousing and analytics,\u201d said Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research.\n\nThis is not Snowflake\u2019s first industry-specific cloud platform. The company has previously forayed into financial services and the media industry.\n\nIndustry-specific clouds ease partnerships\n\n\u201cThe promise in Snowflake\u2019s industry-specific cloud and associated sharing and marketplace capabilities is removing friction from innovation-driving and value-building partnerships. Snowflake\u2019s stake is in collecting fees for facilitating these transactions, and it gains stickiness in being the platform standard for users of these industry-specific clouds,\u201d Henschen said, adding that Snowflake needs to keep adding partners to succeed in its attempt.\n\nHowever, he warned that data marketplaces and data sharing aren\u2019t new trends and there have been failed attempts by notable vendors in the past. \u201cToday, AWS and Microsoft Azure, among others, have data exchanges, but I don\u2019t hear much about them."\n\nBut Crosslin believes that the regulatory compliance requirements along with the consolidation trend in the healthcare industry will boost the success of its new cloud data platform. \n\n\u201cWhile companies are still warming up to the idea of data sharing in healthcare, we are seeing an increasing trend. Data sharing is no longer a one-way street and our compliances with regulatory standards such as HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] ensure that customers who are on Snowflake can easily share data with each other,\u201d Crosslin said.