A computerised crystal ball for HIV/AIDS
It's estimated that over 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Today, HIV can be a treatable, though still not curable disease. But even if the patient is fortunate enough to receive treatment, there is still a risk of developing resistance to the antiretroviral drugs. And that renders the medication powerless against the virus.
EuResist (US) Network GEIE is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting medical research. Working with a consortium that includes IBM Research, EuResist developed the largest clinically oriented antiretroviral drug resistance database in the world — a modelling tool that lets users predict the success rate and impact on virus evolution of various drug combinations via an online portal.
The prediction engine, operating within an IBM WebSphere® Application Server environment, leverages medical data such as viral gene sequences and patient histories from seven sources hosted within an IBM DB2® data server.
With the prediction engine at work, patient response to antiretroviral drug therapy has experienced an increase in accuracy of up to 76%, the highest achieved to date. And what's truly remarkable? The system is absolutely free to use by any physician in Europe.
Medical insights from the family tree
You get your eye colour from your mother. Your hair comes from your grandfather's side of the family. But what about fibrous dysplasia? Or Gorham's disease? Who might you inherit that from?
Italy's Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute (US) is looking for those answers in the genetic underpinnings of rare hereditary bone diseases. Rizzoli engaged IBM Research to develop a first-of-a-kind pedigree analytics platform that integrates genomic data, medical images and family history into a powerful research tool.
The platform helps researchers discover and better understand correlations between genotypic and phenotypic data — genetic makeup and what the condition actually looks like. In addition to streamlining the research process, the insights derived from this complementary capability provide guidance to Rizzoli physicians in offering the most effective treatment options.