AWS Public Sector Blog

Cloud-Enabled Innovation in Personalized Medical Treatment

Hundreds of thousands of organizations around the world have joined AWS and many are using AWS solutions powered by Intel to build their businesses, scale their operations, and harness their technological innovations. We’re excited about our work with the hospitals and research institutions using bioinformatics to achieve major healthcare breakthroughs and unlock the mysteries of the human body.

These organizations are revolutionizing our understanding of disease and developing novel approaches to diagnosis and treatment. A human genome contains a complete copy of the genetic material necessary to build and maintain that organism. The sequencing of this code represents one of history’s largest scientific endeavors—and greatest accomplishments. When the Human Genome Project began in 1990, researchers had only a rudimentary understanding of DNA and the details of the human genome sequence. It took around 13 years and cost roughly $3 billion to sequence the first genome. But today, even small research groups can complete genomic sequencing in a matter of hours at a fraction of that cost.

The parallel evolution of genomics and cloud computing over the past decade has launched a revolution in discovery-based research that is transforming modern medicine. Doctors and researchers are now able to more accurately identify rare inherited and chromosomal disorders, and develop highly personalized treatment plans that reflect the unique genetic makeup of individual patients.

This eBook highlights the important work bioinformatics organizations are undertaking and explains how we are helping them achieve their mission. The stories of these four organizations illustrate what is possible with the AWS Cloud:

  1. The National Institute of Health’s Human Microbiome Project (HMP) – Researchers from all over the globe can now access HMP data through Nephele, an AWS-supported platform, and use that information to identify possible microbial causes of preterm births, diabetes, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and other disorders.
  2. The INOVA Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI) – AWS architecture facilitates the storage and management of this secure data, and enables Inova researchers to develop personalized treatments and predictive care for newborns suffering from congenital disorders and patients of all ages with cancer-causing genetic mutations.
  3. University of California, San Diego’s  Center for Computational Biology & Bioinformatics (CCBB) – CCBB has seven core AWS-supported analysis pipelines, all optimized to handle next-generation sequencing data. Each pipeline is targeted at identifying small but important molecular differences, whether in a tumor’s DNA or in the microbiome, enabling doctors to tailor treatment on an individual level.
  4. GenomeNext – GenomeNext’s AWS based platform represents the newest technological benchmark in the history of genomic analysis, and allows even small research groups to complete genomic sequencing in a matter of hours at a fraction of the traditional cost.

Medical and scientific communities around the world are just starting to take advantage of the transformative opportunities that personalized genomic medicine offers patients. These organizations are at the forefront of that medical revolution. Download the eBook to learn more and check out the infographic below to see how the cloud transforms healthcare.