Advantage Healthy Economy Innovation

Disruptive Software

Medical applications are just first on the list

Even the world’s largest tech companies need help leveraging their innovations.

Software to manage and analyze data has been around as long as the computer, but when HP Inc. needed an innovative approach to managing company-wide inventory and sales data, developers at HP in Corvallis created their own product: ORCA. Now that same  home-grown platform is being called “disruptive technology” by those outside of HP who have seen ORCA in operation.

ORCA’s disruptive nature comes from its simplicity. The software is fully deployable within mere days, compared to the months, or even years, required to build competitive systems — and at a fraction of the cost of comparable enterprise-size data management and analytics platforms.

A year ago, when HP began its search for a company to commercialize ORCA, it turned to the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator and its directors Karl Mundorff and Mark Lieberman for help. Leveraging their personal and professional networks of Oregon-based entrepreneurs, Lieberman and Mundorff sought out companies that had an application-ready need and a vision for expanding ORCA into a new business. They presented HP with a long list of candidates and arranged meetings with the most promising prospects. Presentations were followed by proposals and business plans. In the end, HP licensed ORCA to Due North Innovation of Portland.

“There are a lot of other data management tools out there. This one is super powerful but very easy to use from an implementation point of view,” says Michael Baker, partner in Due North. “I’ve been in this business for 25 years, and it’s the first time that we have seen a software solution that allows for the management of very large data through common language searches.”

Baker believes ORCA can enhance clinical outcomes and reduce care delivery costs in the medical field, by extracting meaningful information from massive data sources

Baker founded Home Dialysis Plus based in part on microchannel research at OSU. That company, now known as Outset Medical, markets Tablo, a portable system for conducting dialysis treatments at home and in dialysis clinics.

As a firm geared toward bringing innovation out of the lab and into the market place, Due North will use ORCA in two new products: Qview Health and CORI2. Qview Health tracks health-care performance in hospitals and pinpoints sources of errors. CORI2 manages data from endoscopy exams. It helps clinicians to predict patient outcomes on the basis of data from 11 years of such procedures at 126 hospitals around the world. In both cases, ORCA will provide the information engine that accesses data for analytical purposes.

Other ORCA applications are on the horizon. Due North may use it to drive a system that could lead the way for personalized medicine. It could combine information about a patient’s genetic profile with real-time reporting on activity, diet and other factors that affect health.

Outside health care, ORCA could boost analytical power for other data management purposes. “ORCA works with any type of data,” adds Baker. “It’s the most robust algorithm set I’ve seen. It’s unique within the family of these products.”


To discover what the Oregon State University Advantage and the Advantage Accelerator program can do for your business, contact Brian Wall, assistant vice president for research, commercialization and industry partnering, 541-737-9058,

By Nick Houtman

Nick Houtman is director of research communications at OSU and edits Terra, a world of research and creativity at Oregon State University. He has experience in weekly and daily print journalism and university science writing. A native Californian, he lived in Wisconsin and Maine before arriving in Corvallis in 2005.