Bio-IT World Highlights Innovation for All in One Day Precision Medicine

Bio-IT World is a great occasion to take stock and see what’s on the horizon. In a plenary keynote session on April 5, I spoke about three areas where we’re making progress toward achieving All in One Day precision medicine.

All in One Day is both a vision and a challenge. The vision is that if you’re diagnosed with cancer or another genetically-influenced disease, your clinical team will sequence your DNA and provide you with a precision treatment plan based on your biomolecular profile—all within 24 hours. To do that, they’ll scour massive databases, examining the known available treatments to find the ones that are most effective for people who most closely line up with your unique biology, age, lifestyle, and other factors. So you receive the treatment that’s likely to be most successful with the fewest side effects. The upshot: less anxiety and uncertainty, less trial-and-error treatment, and the likelihood of better outcomes.

With enough of the right kinds of innovation and focus, Intel thinks the goal is achievable by 2020. We’re working hard to make the vision a reality, and to make it practical enough for community oncologists to use as part of their clinical workflows.

Tools for Making the Most of Genomics Data

What kinds of innovation am I talking about? One crucial area is the development of open source tools for analyzing and managing genomics data.

Genomic analysis and precision medicine are massive big data applications. Increasingly, the limiting factor isn’t sequencing a genome, but assembling, analyzing, comparing, studying and storing it along with clinical and other data. At Bio-IT World, Intel and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard announced that we are advancing fundamental capabilities so large genomic workflows can run at cloud scale, as well as co-developing new open source tools to simplify the execution of large genomic workflows such as the Broad’s Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK).

The Broad Institute released Cromwell, an integrated workflow execution engine designed to give organizations greater control by launching genomic pipelines on private or public clouds in a portable and reproducible manner. Broad and Intel also announced GenomicsDB, a novel way to store vast amounts of patient variant data and to process it with unprecedented speed and scalability. Broad is teaming up with Intel, Cloudera, and four leading cloud service providers to enable cloud-based access to GATK software. (Read more about optimized open source solutions on Intel® platforms.)

Collaborative Networks to Accelerate Breakthroughs

Solving massive challenges calls for deep collaborations across diverse institutions. For precision medicine, these collaborations must balance open data sharing with institutional control and rigorous protection of patient privacy.

The Collaborative Cancer Cloud, established last year by Intel and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), provides a robust foundation for such collaborations by enabling medical institutions to securely share insights from their private patient genomic data. The Cancer Cloud’s unique, federated approach to data sharing allows for rapid advances while overcoming many concerns about sharing sensitive datasets. At Bio-IT World, we welcomed the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research as recent additions to the Cancer Cloud.

Platform Innovation for Diverse Genomics Workloads

As powerful as today’s supercomputers are, All in One Day will require significant increases in computational capacity, performance, and throughput. Intel is driving progress on multiple fronts to help institutions manage, analyze, share, and store the expanding world of bio data.  We’ve created Intel® Scalable System Framework (Intel® SSF) as a next-generation approach to developing high-performance, balanced, efficient, and reliable computing (HPC) systems. We recently launched the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4 product family, the first processor within Intel Scalable Systems Framework. Together with Intel® Xeon Phi™ processors, Intel® Omni-Path Architecture, Intel® Enterprise Edition for Lustre* Solutions, revolutionary Intel® Optane™ memory/storage technology, and other critical elements of Intel SSF, we’re dramatically advancing the capabilities needed for precision medicine.

What will All in One Day mean for your organization? What questions do you have? What do you need to do to get ready? Tell me in the comments.

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