Cloud Computing Fueling New Healthcare Possibilities

Cloud computing has evolved from cutting edge technology only adopted by the most technically savvy organizations to being a component of even the most conservative portfolios. The cloud has made it possible for even the smallest organizations to have virtually limitless access to sophisticated, highly robust technology solutions. However, in spite of its popularity, many people don’t realize the cloud’s potential extends far beyond shaving a few thousand from technology budgets and bolstering the next social networking start-up. In fact, cloud computing is proving it can be an important tool for extending or even saving human life.

Cycle Computing created 51,132-core supercomputer on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud to test 21 million synthetic compounds that could be useful in treating cancer. The cluster ran for 3 hours on March 30 and cost $4,828.85. A comparable build out using a traditional infrastructure approach would have cost over $20 million and taken months to deploy. The same research could have taken a year to complete if the simulation was run on the 1,500-core cluster Cycle Computing’s client, Schrödinger, typically uses for biotechnology and pharmaceutical research.

What Cycle Computing accomplished was significant. However, any organization with adequate technical expertise,  could create a cluster of equal and processing power using the cloud as infrastructure. This completely changes the dynamics of medical research. Researchers no longer have to endure the longs waits to rent time from supercomputing centers or obtain billions in funding, which is substantially speeding innovation in the industry.

The work being done by Cycle Computing and Schrödinger is just one example of how cloud computing and healthcare are intersecting to create new opportunities. Cloud computing is also providing the computing power and data storage necessary to fuel advances in DNA sequencing. This has allowed the field of genomics to advance even faster than Moore’s law, which is commonly used to describe the pace of computing technology advances. It required over a decade and several billion dollars to map the first genome;  cloud computing now makes it possible to map a genome in a few days at a cost of only thousands of dollars. That’s a reduction of time and cost by a factor of one million. By enabling this level of genomics, cloud computing isn’t only advancing human knowledge, it is making the possibility of personalized medicine based on an individual’s unique genetic makeup practical.

Cloud computing may soon impact healthcare in a much more personal way than supporting research. It is now possible to store the sum of all human medical knowledge in the cloud. Access to this volume of data and the processing power of the cloud has the potential to make treatment a much more analytical endeavor.

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Josette Rigsby

Josette Rigsby has almost 20 years of experience in information technology in roles from developer to executive. She earned a bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on information systems and economics. She is also a certified enterprise architect, but has loved tech since she wrote her first line of code. As a regular contributor to Silicon Angle, she focuses on big data, cloud computing and enterprise technology trends. You can find her on Twitter as @techielicous. If you have a news tip or a story idea, please send queries via Twitter @SiliconAngle.

5 Comments

  1. That’s why cloud computing is essential nowadays because ir minimizes the workflow of a certain establishment and makes life easier for them.

  2. The points explained in the post are clear and all are proving what you have written in these post.. My point is that i want to invest in this new technology ; However; since I have read some stuff about <a href=” http://cloudswave.com/blog “> cloud computing information</a> and security, i become somewhat septic to invest in term of either the hardware or the soft, so to what extent it is  safe for data storing and which are the best reliable companies affording quality services

  3. The points explained in the post are clear and all are proving what you have written in these post.. My point is that i want to invest in this new technology ; However; since I have read some stuff about  cloud computing information and security  herein http://cloudswave.com/blog, i become somewhat septic to invest in term of either the hardware or the soft, so to what extent it is  safe for data storing and which are the best reliable companies affording quality services

  4. Cloud computing and especially VPS hosting is essential indeed. As data storage capacities is going beyond imagination, cloud computing solutions are the only way to go. Steve from http://www.redx.co.il/vps

  5. It’s really strange that how a software (computing resources) involve with and brings the possibilities of healthcare, cloud is basically worked for the growth of healthcare and also support the approach of promoting healthcare. Previously we have witnessed a number of growths in software field due to cloud computing resources but here we found how these features are helpful in healthcare sectors.
    http://www.squidoo.com/workshop/the-purpose-benefits-of-urgent-care-centers#

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