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June 30, 2016
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3 Reasons to Join The Consortium Defining the Next Generation of Genomics Research

genomicThis week we made a huge step forward in accelerating genomics-based precision medicine in research and clinical care, starting a consortium of experts and organizations who will help to define the next generation of genomics research.

We’ve already been joined by Arizona State University, Baylor College of Medicine, Booz Allen Hamilton, Mayo Clinic, OneOme and Yale New Haven Health.

This is a compelling initiative that follows on our support of the White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative. I agree with DJ Patil, Chief Data Scientist of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who says: “Unleashing the power of data through open community and collaboration is the right approach to solve a complex problem like precision medicine. Initiatives like this one will break data silos and share data in an open platform across industries to speed genomics-based research and ultimately save lives.”

So, whether you are a Bioinformatician, Computer Science Engineer, Genomics Expert in the Clinical and Research spaces working for a Provider, Pharma or a Consulting firm I urge you to join.

Here are three ways in which all of us will benefit.

First, the technology is ready to put the next generation platform for genomic storage and analytics in our grasp. Apache Hadoop and Hortonworks Connected Data Platform now make it possible to do research never before imagined, and that can save lives through genomics-based medicine. We’re committed to providing our technology and expertise.

There has simply never been a more exciting time to address diseases like cancer or arthritis, which are as urgent today as they were fifty years ago.

Genomics research is revolutionizing medicine and a key to finally unlocking the doors to these diseases. But no-one researcher or provider can do it alone. The sheer scale of the project and challenges of bringing precision medicine to life requires a united front across technology, research and healthcare.

Second, together truly means that only an ‘open’ ecosystem can make it happen. So we’re also bringing our expertise in open source communities to bear. No-one knows how to do ‘open’ better. We aim to build an open community and ecosystem that can address the challenges and opportunities.

Harnessing the potential of precision medicine demands a platform to store a massive volume of genomic information, an analytic interface and real time querying at scale. Our vision and final goal is to help develop that next generation scalable open-source platform for genomic storage and analytics, and to enable precision-based medicine. We can only do this if we focus on what those challenges are and how to address them.

I strongly believe that this open type of collaboration will create the innovation required.

Finally, by joining now you will personally be able to help define the problem space and future-state capabilities, through proven Design Thinking workshops.

Design Thinking is a proven and repeatable protocol to drive innovation, pioneered at Stanford. It’s been shown to achieve extraordinary results.

There are a number of challenges to harness the full potential, such as: lack of standardization, difficulties of open data management, the inability to capture and share organizational knowledge and best practices around Omics data, slow speed of interaction, the size & complexity of data, the dynamic nature of the data, and so on.

The consortium will lead the global effort in the design, development and release of that next generation data platform, and these associated challenges, based on input from participants via Design Thinking. It will also make multiple use cases available for patient treatment and research.

It will also leverage knowledge across multiple domains including medical genetics, programming, high performance computing and big data to ensure that organizations of any size have the opportunity to store and analyze genomics data in a single platform.

I urge you to join and to become a key part of the consortium today. We already have seen use cases emerge to enable bio conductors, next generation beacon projects and time series genomic data.

Lets do this together. Email me at vdhanuka@hortonworks.com.

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