A new whitepaper, commissioned by Lenovo & Intel, led by IDC,highlights key challenges and drivers transforming the healthcare landscape across Asia Pacific.

The white paper Titled ‘Leveraging High-Performance Compute Infrastructure to Address the Genomic Data Challenge in Life Sciences’,  underlines humanity’s greatest challenges where  genomics  research-led  intervention  could impact significantly.

When we talk about ‘smart healthcare’ predominantly it means use of technology to personalise medical care by evaluating genetics. The idea is leveraging the power of IT infrastructure to manage healthcare service system of the medical eco system in an intelligent manner.

Research commissioned by Lenovo and Intel, conducted reveals that drug discovery and genomics diagnostics are the most critical workloads for 70% of organizations in India

A key highlight from the paper states that while the pandemic-led acceleration in innovation has given  a  boost to  the Indian healthcare  sector,  genomics high-performance  computing  (HPC) infrastructure that is  key  to  drug/vaccine  discovery  &  precision  medicine,  is still  at  a  start-up  stage  for nearly  57% of surveyed organizations in  India.

The survey was conducted across 150 pharmaceutical and biotech companies across five key markets in Asia (India, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and Korea).

What is Genomics?

Genomics is a forum for describing the development of genome-scale technologies and their application to all areas of biological investigation as described by Professor Colum Walsh, Professor of Genetics. Genomic applications with potential for significant impact in the field and emerging technologies.

Research Highlights:

The research says that 40% of decision makers in India are  certain  that  genomics  is  fundamental to  developing  a  precision medicine strategy to treat chronic illness.

33% of the organizations surveyed across Asia Pacific mirror this drift, followed by 21% who believe genomics can improve development of drugs and vaccines which is also apriority for 20% organizations in India.

Lenovo’s Genomics Optimization and Scalability Tool (GOAST) leads with higher preference among 37% of organizations in India

Recognizing IT Challenges (Velocity & Volume of Data) and Accelerating Genomics Transformation with HPC

47% of those lack the computing power to analyse the high-velocity genomics data, which has become the top IT challenge in genome sequencing.

Fig 1

The exponential growth in the volume of genomic data is set to continue. The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), the standards-setting body in genomics for healthcare, has reported that over 60 million patients will have their genomes sequenced by 2025, fuelled by growth in therapeutic areas such as rare diseases and oncology.

Sinisa Nikolic, Director and Segment Leader, HPC & AI, AP, Lenovo ISG ,said, “The volume and type of genomics data generated is unimaginable and to make accurate decisions based on this  data requires huge  computing  power.  This gets  even  more difficult  with complex  and  unscalable solutions   that  were  found to  be  cautious  factors  for 50% of organizations in India looking for genomics solutions.

Solutions from Lenovo: GOAST (Genomics Optimization and Scalability Tool) reduce the time to process a single human genome from 150 hours to less than 48 minutes. This enables researchers to quickly map a cohort of people instead of spending time analysing a single genome.

HPC supports high-throughput volumes to accelerate the speed of analysis, whereas AI helps make sense of the difference between genomes. This is why we are seeing GOAST being preferred by nearly 37% of organizations in India and expecting it to grow tremendously over the next few years.” Sinisa Nikolic added.

 “A major challenge for researchers is the time taken to process a single genome. Researchers have highlighted the deluge of genomics data poses operational and infrastructure challenge.

Genomics HPC infrastructure landscape: Combining HPC & AI with Genomics to enable precision Medicine

Genomics HPC infrastructure landscape set to grow as 83% of organizations in India anticipate their annual genomics workloads to grow more than 10% over the next two years as per the reserach.

The ever-growing data, the required infrastructure setup can immensely add to the capital and operational expenditure says Sumir Bhatia, President – AP, Lenovo ISG.

The growing storage requirement predictions could add to the existing cost burdens for 33% of
organizations who are currently spending more than $1M annually on data compute, storage, and
maintenance & services.

Cyber security challenges

The entire context of genomics data, cyber threats are a key challenge for only 3% of the organizations in India. 80% surveyed feel that cybersecurity strategy is a small hurdle to overcome.

(Image Courtesy: www.aibn.uq.edu.au)

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