Why The Next Medical Revolution Needs Cloud Computing

Why The Next Medical Revolution Needs Cloud Computing

For some time now, genomics or the study of genes has been branded as the possible playing field for the next medical revolution. Indeed, some believe that genomics can have as much an impact on human civilization this century as computers did in the previous one, with possible applications from the frivolous (specifying eye color in an unborn child) to momentous (developing designer medicine to target specific symptoms in specific patients).

Although genomics is still a new technology, it is already finding applications, much like cloud computing. Earlier this year genomics enabled the treatment of a California teenager who had difficulty breathing. While doctors remained puzzled over the cause using traditional diagnostic methods, mapping of the girl’s genetic code enabled them to pinpoint the problem and treat it successfully.

Now, mapping of the human genome involves an exhaustive process called genome sequencing. It can be defined as “a laboratory process that determines the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genome at a single time. This entails sequencing all of an organism’s chromosomal DNA as well as DNA contained in the mitochondria and, for plants, in the chloroplast.” Now, this is where cloud computing can have a monumental impact.

Gene sequencing produces an enormous amount of data, and processing this data requires an enormous amount of computing power. While the price of gene sequencers has reduced drastically over the years, the same is not true for computing resources. Unless, cloud computing is the resource being used.

That is why several companies in this space are looking at cloud computing as an integral part of advances in this field. Keeping this in mind, medical devices manufacturer PerkinElmer recently acquired Geospiza, a provider of lab software and cloud-based genomic data services. PerkinElmer plan to use cloud computing to provide storage and analysis services as gene sequencers become more affordable.

Geospiza has had considerable experience in using the cloud for genetic studies. The University of Florida’s Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research has been a regular client since 1999, first for its software, then for its cloud services starting in 2009. According to William Farmerie, the center’s associate director of emerging science, such a move allowed it to sequencing services for researchers in a more user-friendly manner.

Processing humongous amounts of data is something cloud computing is definitely good at due to its distributed architecture that allows for optimum load balancing and seamless transfer of information. Aside from genetic research, this ability can be used for all fields of human activity that involves the creation and analysis of prodigious amounts of data. Some that readily come to mind are business intelligence, stock markets analyses, espionage and counter-espionage, etc. In other words, cloud computing can be used to convert data into usable information.

And it’s not only its ability that makes cloud computing such an attractive proposition; it’s also the cost, or comparative lack of it. A supercomputer costing millions can perhaps replicate a cloud-based solution’s ability to process data, but the latter will do it at much, much lower costs. This is something I had discussed in an earlier article (See: Fighting Above Your Weight Class through Cloud Computing).

In conclusion, if, in a decade, genetic research develops a cure for cancer by creating drugs that can specifically target malignant cells without harming the others, you can be sure that cloud computing will have had a major role to play.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

One Response to Why The Next Medical Revolution Needs Cloud Computing

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Contributors

Cloud Infographic – Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare

Cloud Infographic – Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare

Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare There are so many exciting new opportunities available to utilize wearable technology in the future.  Areas such as nanotechnology disease monitoring, crowdfunding to wearable accessories are some excellent examples of the potential. Estimates vary, but appear to suggest that the market will produce between $14-50 Billion over the next few years. Included below

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

Big Data Is Entering the Age of Aquarius

Big Data Is Entering the Age of Aquarius

Suddenly, I realized: fluids are in, animals are out. The big data ecosystem has given up on its elephants, impalas and pigs in favor of aquatics.  Perhaps, the shift started with “data lakes,” or, perhaps, data lakes just reflected the state of big data (pun intended). Or maybe, Cascading was the one that signified the

Hewlett-Packard Company On-Demand Webinar

Hewlett-Packard Company On-Demand Webinar

Shifting Workloads and the Server Evolution Learn more about the latest industry trends and the challenges customers are talking about. Every ten to fifteen years, the types of workloads servers host swiftly shift. This happened with the first single-mission mainframes and today, as disruptive technologies appear in the form of big data, cloud, mobility and

Microsoft, The Government And Privacy

Microsoft, The Government And Privacy

Microsoft, The Government And Privacy But European companies can’t afford to get complacent if they have any tied to the US Apple, Cisco, Verizon and AT&T are considering joining Microsoft’s battle against the US government to safeguard customers’ privacy – but European corps should also take note.… Read the source article at The Register About