HP and Partners HealthCare extend collaboration in support of personalized medicine

Palo Alto 03 March 2009HP and Partners HealthCare have extended a successful five-year, multi-million dollar agreement to develop software and implement hardware and services supporting Partners' efforts to accelerate clinical genomics and advance personalized medicine. This phase of the collaboration focuses on extending Partners' technology infrastructure, especially data storage capabilities, to address the challenges posed by next-generation sequencing technologies. The increase in genetic and genomic data output from these sequencing technologies will require a cost-effective, high-performance computing storage environment.


"To turn the vision of personalized medicine into reality requires the convergence of IT, research and health care", stated John Glaser, chief information officer, Partners HealthCare. "We believe the vision of personalized medicine, where clinicians are able to make diagnostic, treatment and clinical management decisions based on a patient's genetic profile, can only be realized by leveraging IT infrastructure that can keep pace with the fast rate of change in the genomics field. The Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine (PCPGM) is uniquely positioned to deliver the promise of personalized medicine."

HP and Partners' collaboration builds upon a five-year relationship that has led to the development of a large multi-cluster computer facility to support genetics researchers at Partners HealthCare. The shared storage approach was implemented to improve processing capabilities, as well as increase collaboration on raw instrument data, results fields, and database objects across institutions.

This infrastructure allowed HP and PCPGM to collaborate on the creation of the Gateway for Integrated Genomics-Proteomics Application and Data (GIGPAD). GIGPAD is a software environment that integrates disparate laboratory systems, provides a portal to submit and access biological samples, and enables efficient management of analytical work flows and data repositories.

The solution developed at PCPGM is a core component of the HP Digital Discovery and Development solution, which is a collaborative, service-oriented architecture that enables translational research for life sciences companies. This integration is the cornerstone of integrating genetics and genomics into clinical practice for the benefit of patients.

"As a result of this collaboration, we have been able to make genetic and genomic technologies more accessible for our researchers as well as our clinicians", stated Sandy Aronson, executive director, Information Technology, PCPGM. "Now we will build support for the new forms of sequencing and genotyping that will accelerate the advancement of personalized medicine. It is exciting to envision the benefits that will accrue."

To address expanded storage requirements, PCPGM chose HP Extreme Data Storage, an easy-to-use appliance that provides highly scalable storage. PCPGM will be able to integrate the new storage system with its existing environment, so users can work on the data without moving it through the network.

"Intermediate-term storage is directly accessible to PCPGM's primary work environment", stated Donovan Nickel, vice president, Scalable Network Attached Storage, HP. The HP solution eliminates unnecessary and expensive data copies and results in cost-effective storage capacity and significant time savings.

PCPGM was formerly known as Harvard Medical School - Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics (HPCGG). Partners HealthCare is an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to its two academic medical centres, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, community health centres, a physician network, home health and long-term care services, and other health-related entities. Partners is one of the leading biomedical research organisations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organisation.

HP simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More HP news can be found in the VMW September 2008 article Gwinnett speeds time to diagnosis and treatment with HP Medical Archive solution.

Source: HP

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