As healthcare becomes increasingly digital, scientists, physicians and researchers must try to decipher an unprecedented amount of data in order to better personalize care. The plethora of information available to these professionals often outstrips their ability to consume and analyze it. AmazonThe cloud unit of has worked to fill that gap.
Amazon Web Services Recently released to general availability Amazon Omics helps researchers store and analyze omics data such as DNA, RNA, and protein sequences. The service provides customers with the underlying infrastructure they need to make sense of large amounts of data, allowing them to spend more time on new scientific discoveries.
AWS generates a significant portion of Amazon’s revenue, $20.5 billion in the third quarterThe cloud computing business is expanding into healthcare, and while AWS does not disclose revenue projections for specific services, the global genomic data analytics market is expected to reach $2.15 billion by 2030. expected. Report from Straits Research.
AWS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Taha Kass-Hout says the vast majority of healthcare data is unstructured in nature, with about 97% of it going unused. Indexing and making sense of this information is difficult, especially when researchers collect omics data from tens of thousands of patients.
Prior to joining Amazon, he served two terms under President Barack Obama and served as the first Chief Health Information Officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Sequencing a single human genome can require 80 to 150 gigabytes of storage, according to Kass-Hout, and some research projects process petabytes to exabytes of genomic information.
“We’re talking almost nine values of Harry Potter if you want them printed on your printer,” Kass-Hout told CNBC. “And it’s for just one person.”
Amazon Omics helps organize data by providing three components that researchers can leverage individually or collectively. Omics-enabled object storage helps researchers store and share raw sequencing data. Omics Workflows help you run workflows that process raw sequence data at scale. Omics Analytics simplifies the output of sequencing.
Over a dozen customers and partners have tested the service in beta and are already using Amazon Omics.
For Jeffrey Pennington, Chief Research Informatics Officer at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, it’s already had a noticeable impact.
Pennington works in the biomedical and health informatics departments that use data and technology to solve children’s health problems. He said he spent five years expanding the infrastructure for the department to analyze his Omics data, but now they no longer need to build or maintain it themselves.
“We are a large pediatric academic medical center, but we are not yet big enough to learn and build everything we need to use omic data productively.” Energy, effort, and financial means are much better spent putting the puzzle together than producing the puzzle pieces in the first place.”
Boris Oklander, co-founder and chief technology officer of C2i Genomics, said Amazon Omics will also facilitate collaboration between large research groups, small clinical groups, intelligence and pharmaceutical companies.
C2i is a biotechnology company that has developed a personalized cancer therapeutic intelligence platform using genomic data. Oklander said the company joined the Amazon Omics beta after developing its own data analytics technology.
Amazon Omics has created an ecosystem for collaboration that eliminates the need for researchers to build complex technologies from scratch, he said.
“We’re just democratizing,” he said. “This kind of service [us] Unlocking the value of the investments made by various players in this space. ”
Other big tech companies are also developing similar tools. microsoftMicrosoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, launched Microsoft Genomics in 2018 to enable researchers to interpret data generated by genomics technology. GoogleThe Cloud Life Sciences technology also enables researchers to process biomedical data at scale.
The Broad Institute and DNAnexus also offer popular genomic data analysis services, Pennington said, but they are harder to maintain and can analyze fewer types of data than Amazon Omics.
Given the sensitive and personal nature of Omic data, Kass-Hout said protecting privacy and patient data is AWS’ “zero job.” AWS uses more than 300 of his security, compliance, and governance services and supports 98 security standards and compliance certifications, he said. In doing so, AWS goes “well beyond” regulatory compliance and also provides customers with best-practice resources and encryption tools, Kass-Hout said.
Customers are also responsible for building secure applications on Amazon Omics services. This prevents AWS from seeing or making use of your data.
Ultimately, Kass-Hout says Amazon Omics will serve as an efficient way to index information, allowing researchers to focus on real advances in precision medicine.
“If the last decade has been about the digitization that the health and life sciences industry has gone through, we truly believe that the next decade will be about making sense of this data in the way it is today. [where] We can find new treatments, new diagnostics, more targeted treatments,” he said.