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Keywords:

  • cloud computing;
  • data mining;
  • electronic medical records;
  • genomics;
  • Systems Biology

Abstract.

Grossman RL, White KP (Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology; The University of Chicago, Chicago) A vision for a biomedical cloud (Key Symposium). J Intern Med 2012; 271: 122–130.

We present a vision for a Biomedical Cloud that draws on progress in the fields of Genomics, Systems Biology and biomedical data mining. The successful fusion of these areas will combine the use of biomarkers, genetic variants, and environmental variables to build predictive models that will drastically increase the specificity and timeliness of diagnosis for a wide range of common diseases, whilst delivering accurate predictions about the efficacy of treatment options. However, the amount of data being generated by each of these fields is staggering, as is the task of managing and analysing it. Adequate computing infrastructure needs to be developed to assemble, manage and mine the enormous and rapidly growing corpus of ‘omics’ data along with clinical information. We have now arrived at an intersection point between genome technology, cloud computing and biological data mining. This intersection point provides a launch pad for developing a globally applicable cloud computing platform capable of supporting a new paradigm of data intensive, cloud-enabled predictive medicine.