Amazon, Google Look To Increase Stores of Cloud-Based DNA Data

June 6, 2015 in News

Amazon and Google are working to increase the amount of DNA data stored on their cloud services amid the push toward personalized medicine, Reuters reports.

Details of Efforts

Google Genomics and Amazon Web Services both store genomic data in secure, cloud-based settings. In addition, they offer analytical services to help researchers interpret the data.

Clients of the services say both Google and Amazon effectively store genomic data and are able to:

  • Allow data to be shared;
  • Control costs; and
  • Keep data secure.

Implications

According to Reuters, the growth in the cloud-based genomic data storage market — which is projected to be worth $1 billion by 2018 — has been driven in part by the health care system’s new focus on personalized medicine.

As providers seek to tailor care to individual patients, they will need to rely on troves of data to pinpoint how certain genetic profiles respond to various treatments. According to Reuters, Amazon and Google have the analytical capabilities to mine “genetic gold” from those troves of data.

David Glazer, director of engineering at Google Genomics, said the largest customers for genomic cloud services include:

  • Academic research projects; and
  • Pharmaceutical projects.

However, Glazer projected that clinical applications in the next decade will outpace such projects as physicians seek access to cloud databases to determine a patient’s risk of disease or potential response to treatment.

Meanwhile, Matt Wood, general manager of data science at Amazon Web Services, said the demand for cloud services in genomics has reached a “perfect storm” amid the:

  • High amount of data being created; and
  • Inclusion of genomics in clinical care (Begley/Hummer, Reuters, 6/5).
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