Behind the scenes of precision medicine

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Advancing the science of medicine relies largely on access to patients’ genomic information and the other related biological or environmental factors causing disease. Armed with additional information, researchers and physicians can often target a disease more precisely with treatment specific to the individual, and potentially deliver higher-quality personalized patient care.

In a world where the average person is likely to generate over one million gigabytes of health-related data across his or her lifetime – what does it take to support the future of precision medicine to help professionals make personalized, contextual, evidence-based clinical decisions?

researcher in the labThe healthcare and life sciences industry is engorged with new data sources (mostly unstructured) that create an expanding data ecosystem. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the medical data remains siloed in disparate systems and cannot be analyzed. In addition, the lack of an accessible consolidated view of each patient’s diagnostic images, health records, medical and genomic information can hinder physicians from making the most informed clinical decision. We believe that closing this gap requires a new approach to how hospitals, genome centers, medical research centers and other healthcare institutes store, access, secure, manage, share and analyze industry-specific applications and mission-critical workloads.

When high performance meets genomics

As the demands on healthcare and life sciences organizations are shifting, they tend to require organizations to incorporate new data analytics technologies and apply cost-effective high-performance capabilities that will increase speed to insights.

One way this can be achieved is by utilizing a reference architecture for high-performance analytics in healthcare and life science, designed to deliver high performance for big-data workloads while also lowering the total cost of IT ownership.

This reference architecture is based on a shared compute and storage infrastructure, managed by advanced software and designed to consolidate and transform static, siloed systems into a dynamic, integrated, and intelligent infrastructure, resulting in faster analytics and greater resource utility. While this flexible and scalable architecture can be built on premises or in the cloud, with seamless communication of workflows delivered by hybrid cloud, it also has advanced high-performance data analytics (HPDA) capabilities adaptable to key healthcare and life sciences workloads.

Precision medicine in action

SidraSidra Medical and Research Center is a groundbreaking hospital, biomedical research and educational institution located in Qatar. As changing lifestyles impact the Qatari population, levels of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are soaring, creating the need to identify indicators of major diseases and accelerate the development of personalized treatments.

Sidra chose IBM Storage and IBM Software-Defined Infrastructure solutions to provide the biomedical informatics technology infrastructure capabilities that now serve as a national resource for researchers and scientists, and as the high-performance technology platform for the Qatar Genome Programme (QGP). The QGP aims to develop personalized therapies for the Qatari population and Sidra is responsible for sequencing, analyzing and managing the data for this project.

Since deploying IBM technologies, Sidra has completed hundreds of thousands of computing tasks comprising millions of files and directories without experiencing system downtime.

Learn how Sidra has reduced its time-to-completion for long running jobs while increasing its resource utilization substantially by watching this video:

For more information on the IBM platform deployed by Sidra to advance Qatar’s biomedical research capabilities. click here.

Finally, to learn more about leading organizations, accelerating discoveries and delivering more informed personalized care while cutting costs, please view this video:

Yael Shani - Product Marketing Manager, Storage Solutions for Healthcare, IBM Systems

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