By Paul Brake and Christine Fronczak

A recent article, written by our GM for Healthcare and Life Sciences, Dr. Jamie Coffin, and published in MTB Europe, provides an overview of how high performance computing (HPC), and more specifically cloud computing, will play in the future of personalized healthcare. You can read the article in its entity here: Cloud computing is a key component on the path to personalized medicine.

Advances in genomic research—enabled by HPC technologies—is bringing the vision of more targeted care and a better understanding of disease to the individual patient. Cloud computing is playing a more important role than ever before in making these ideas a reality. Clearly, having data widely available in a secure environment to protect the rights of the patient is vitally important.

As was recently featured in a blog on HPCatDell in the Dell Tech Center, a first initiative is focused on tackling cancer in children (High Performance Computing in the Cloud Advances Personalized Health Care). In addition to it being a great initiative to create personalized care for children fighting a terrible disease, Dr. Coffin also outlines how all of this is possible because of unique convergence of clinicians, scientists, bioinformaticians and information technology:

"We’re bridging the gap between science, medicine and technology to provide a real-time knowledge repository of the latest findings on the most effective treatments for pediatric oncologists to use globally. Imagine the possibilities. Such cloud computing platforms could support complex biomedical knowledge exchanges between healthcare providers, research centers, clinical genomics and molecular diagnostic vendors and pharmaceutical researchers interested in participating in personalized medicine trials targeting many other diseases and disorders."

The article also outlines important ‘must-haves’ for a secure healthcare cloud solution, summarized here:

  • HIPAA compliant
  • highly available 
  • partitioned networks, compute and storage layers
  • data management features, including policy driven data access and deletion
  • ease of integration; and
  • ability to access via secured mobile devices.

Advances in science and technology, uniquely focused on healthcare, is making the remarkable possible. It'll be interesting to see what the next decade holds as we continue to leverage these initiatives on a larger scale.