Healthcare Technology Featured Article

July 05, 2012

Cloudera and Mount Sinai Using Big Data to Study How to Predict and Prevent Disease

Cloudera announced that its co-founder and chief scientist, Jeff Hammerbacher will lead a project with Mount Sinai School of Medicine to use Cloudera's big data platform to predict and understand the process and treatment of disease.

"We are at the cutting edge of disease prevention and treatment, and the work that we will do together will reshape the landscape of our field," said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and executive vice president for academic affairs, The Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Together with Mount Sinai's clinical and academic community, Hammerbacher will develop solutions designed for “scalable data analysis and multi-scale measurements in areas such as genotype, gene expression and organ health for medical research and discovery,” providing real-time feedback and guidance for treatment to improve patient outcomes, the press release states.

"We can improve healthcare delivery and treatment through new technology and acquired knowledge," said Eric Schadt, PhD, director of the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai. "I am delighted that Jeff will be collaborating with the Institute of Genomics and Multiscale Biology and look forward to working together to dramatically change how we think about medical analysis and reporting."

Big Data is the term now being used to describe the massive amounts of data researchers use to search, analyze, visualize, or share a significant trend or pattern in subjects such as disease prediction and prevention.

Areas of research in the Cloudera/Mount Sinai study include “analysis of human and bacterial genomes, study of the metabolic pathways of normal and disease states in the organism, structure and function of molecules used in treatment of disease, and more,” the press release reports.

Using Hadoop, Cloudera recently worked to gain new information for the FDA on adverse drug reactions across up to four drug combinations. Hadoop is a free, Java-based programming framework that allows for the processing of large data sets in a distributed computing environment.

In March IBM announced that it was partnering with Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center using big data to develop a powerful tool to help improve the ability of healthcare providers to “personalize” treatments to cancer patients’ specific needs.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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