ICT platform for novel big data analytics
The four-year BIG data MEDical (BigMed) project, hosted by Oslo University (OUS), was initiated jointly in 2017 with partners from both academia and industry. It aims to lay the foundation for implementation of precision medicine, using three clinical areas as pilots: rare diseases, sudden cardiac death, and metastatic colorectal cancer. Thus far, the project has yielded several notable achievements.
The broad consortium of partners have developed bioinformatics tools which will speed up the inclusion of genomic diagnostics into mainstream healthcare as well as novel tools to extract actionable medical information from multiple unstructured and structured data sources, and new analytical ICT tools for integrative analysis of patient data from electronic health records, genomic datasets and phenotype data, to inform clinical decisions.
Meanwhile, investigations and consultations have established patient requirements and needs, as well as the feasibility, ethics, and legal ramifications of sharing curated genomic data from clinical labs in two Nordic countries. The consortium has investigated the benefits for patients in terms of healthcare outcomes and have created tools and solutions both specifically for the three clinical cases and other diseases. Several products have been developed for commercial spin off to ensure a sustainable and professional scale up through industrial partners.
The goal of precision medicine is to offer granular and effective-first-time treatment of specific health conditions, avoiding unnecessary and costly treatments and the associated risks and side effects. The consortium of partners firmly believe BigMed has paved the way for developing more digital tools that healthcare professionals will find relevant and functional, enabling better and more individualised care for patients. Through developing tools and infrastructure, and changes to the Norwegian law the project has provided a foundation for addressing the barriers to the clinical implementation of precision medicine.