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

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts It’s no secret that Cloud Computing is more than just a buzz term as that ship has sailed off a long time ago. More and more companies are adopting the uses and benefits of cloud computing while aggressively factoring cloud services spending into their budget. Included is an excellent…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The…

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

The Internet of Things Is About To Explode By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become…

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

The Future (IoT) By the year 2020, it is being predicted that 40 to 80 billion connected devices will be in use. The Internet of Things or IoT will transform your business and home in many truly unbelievable ways. The types of products and services that we can expect to see in the next decade…

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

The Future Of Big Data Big Data is BIG business and will continue to be one of the more predominant areas of focus in the coming years from small startups to large scale corporations. We’ve already covered on CloudTweaks how Big Data can be utilized in a number of interesting ways from preventing world hunger to helping teams win…

CONNECT TO THE CLOUD

 

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021