The "cloud" on the guard of health


More than ten years of age cloud computing has enabled us to effectively apply them in various fields of science, including in genomic medicine. After the abolition in the U.S. in 2007 of a ban on the storage of genomic data in the cloud storage by the National institutes of health (National Institutes of Health – NIH), the use of cloud technologies has increased significantly.

At the beginning of 2016 the most impressive achievements in this area include:

The project Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes – PCAWG that integrates all genomic information projects of International Cancer Genome Consortium – ICGC and The Cancer Genome Atlas – TCGA. This resource describes more than 2000 types of malignant tumors and provides the control samples, which cover more than 30 types of cancer. Scientists will use the company's product EMBL – EBI Embassy Cloud and conduct research in high-performance computing centers at the University of Chicago, research Institute of electronics and telecommunications in Seoul, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Tokyo and the Heidelberg center for personalized Oncology, German research cancer center.
The British project "100,000 genomes" includes genomic information for more than 70,000 people, including patients with rare diseases into the National health service, plus the families of such patients.
Research Institute for translational genomics and Arizona translational research Consortium the neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma conduct personalized medical trials using high-performance cloud computing to create a new medical database that will help identify approaches to personalized drug therapy for children. The project was also expanded and included European countries, including France and Lebanon.

Cloud Powered Genomics provides:

  • Speed. The time required to process 90 billion pieces of data, reduced from 10 days to 6 hours or less.
  • Accuracy. Analysis of several terabytes of data now allows physicians to prescribe procedures that fully comply with the identity of the patient instead of relying on procedures to a broad base of patients.
  • Cooperation. Scientists and doctors worldwide are now able to share diagnostic and thematic information, based on an existing mass base of medical knowledge, which, in turn, helps to increase the effectiveness and to Refine treatment protocols.
  • Scalability. Storage and processing of data grow proportionally to increase of volume of the information collected.


While cloud computing enable researchers and clinicians to efficiently analyze huge amounts of data also raises difficult questions about privacy. The recognition of the European court of justice invalidated an agreement between Europe and the US "Safe Harbor" brings today's security to the fore.

Without disclosing specific details, the European Commission announced the creation of a new framework for managing data flow across the Atlantic ocean. The agreement, called a "shield", intended to satisfy all requirements established by the European court in its decision of 6 October 2015, according to which the Safe Harbor is declared invalid.

Russian medicine is also beginning in 2014 to conquer the cloud tops. For almost two years there is an independent archive of medical literature based on the use of cloud technology. To help Russian doctors are also given a cloud data center, a support which is engaged an independent company.
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