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How ‘The Cloud’ can help the NHS

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Gene researchers and analysers within the NHS currently find the speed of their work bogged down by the ability of the NHS IT system.  However, by embracing ‘Cloud’ technology, this looks like it might be set to become a thing of the past.

Because of the huge amount of data involved it can take up to three months to sequence and analyse an individual gene.  Therefore if diagnosis and treatment relies on knowing a patients genetic make-up, this also takes an extended period of time.

But it appears that Eagle Genomics, a bioinformatics service provider, might have found a way to use cloud technology to dramatically reduce this time span – down to a period of around a week.  By storing everything in the cloud, this will allow researchers and analysts to access an enormous amount of information that previously wasn’t possible.  It will also aid medical research into new treatments to be able to compare genetic links.

The beauty of utilizing cloud technology also means that rather than testing a patient for a single condition, it should be possible to check for multiple conditions at the same time – and it won’t be necessary for this to be carried out in hospitals.  Instead, with all the data stored in the cloud it can be accessed from a remote location, so freeing up precious hospital space.

Half a million pounds is being invested into researching this technology.  Eagle Genomics are working in association with Cytocell Ltd, University of Manchester, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS trust and the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.

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