Big Data’s Impact on Personalized Medicine

As we arrive at the $1,000 genome, we find the fundamental challenges with next generation sequencing have shifted. The issue is no longer about shrinking the cost of sequencing but the explosive growth of big data: the downstream analytics with rapidly evolving parameters, data sources and formats; the storage, movement and management of massive datasets and workloads; and perhaps most paradoxical of all, the challenge of articulating the results and translating the latest findings directly into improving patient outcomes.

This topic, and more, will be front and center at the Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC) coming up in January 2016. As we transition from a “one-size-fits-all” approach and a focus on treatment rather than prevention, it’s a good time for the industry to gather to make personalized medicine a reality.

Combining patient, clinical, diagnostic and ‘omic data will give us more diversified data, allowing us to view health data differently with the potential for new personalized treatments. To analyze such diverse and large data sets will require new technical approaches. We will need to collect and store patient data in central and secure repositories when we can. We will also need solutions that can accommodate large amounts of genomic data which isn’t efficient to move from the clinics that generate and store it.

The challenge of analyzing data is also the reason that Intel, along with Oregon Health & Sciences University, launched the Collaborative Cancer Cloud, a precision medicine analytics platform that allows institutions to securely share patient genomic, imaging and clinical data for potentially lifesaving discoveries. It will enable large amounts of data from sites all around the world to be analyzed in a distributed way, while preserving the privacy and security of that patient data at each site.

The end goal is to empower researchers and doctors to help patients receive a diagnosis based on their genome and potentially arm clinicians with the data needed for a targeted treatment plan. By 2020, we envision this happening in 24 hours -- All in One Day. The focus is to help cancer centers worldwide—and eventually centers for other diseases—securely share their private clinical and research data with one another to generate larger datasets to benefit research and inform the specific treatment of their individual patients.

Genome Centers

I’m honored to be part of the PMWC 2016 agenda. On the third day of the event (January 26), I will be addressing how Genome Centers, including core facilities, are handling these challenges along with ethical and privacy issues. Several center directors will be on hand to discuss how they work with clinical data and how they share data with their customers.

Learn more about the Personalized Medicine World Conference on January 24-27, I hope to see you there as treating patients as individuals becomes the norm in healthcare delivery.

What questions do you have?