Intel hops on the precision medicine bandwagon with new projects for 2016

Tech giant Intel ($INTC) is getting in on President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative. The company is launching a new program to improve data analytics for genetic research, feeding into a swath of projects announced under the administration's latest precision medicine push.

Over the next 5 years, the Santa Clara, CA-based company wants to help patients get a diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan sooner. To do that, it's rolling out a series of initiatives this year aimed at improving analytics and processing large data sets.

As part of its program, dubbed "All in One Day," Intel will create an open-source proof of concept for data center infrastructure, which supports processing, storage and analysis of large precision medicine data sets. The company will also train researchers on some of its proprietary platforms that help make data sharing easier.

But Intel isn't stopping there. The company also outlined more projects for the year to come, including kicking off four weeklong sessions to train scientists in programming and data processing, and gathering industry experts to create a single set of standards for machine-readable electronic consent. The latter project could come in handy as scientists look for faster ways to gather data from participants in the Precision Medicine Initiative program.

Eric Dishman, Intel's general manager of Health & Life Sciences

"When researchers and doctors have the data, tools, and training to create a personalized treatment plan based on an individual's data, life goals, and needs, we will have ushered in a new era that is vital for our families, economy and future," Intel's general manager of Health & Life Sciences, Eric Dishman, said in a statement.

The company's move comes as the Obama administration jump-starts its Precision Medicine Initiative, which it unveiled in January 2015. In December, President Obama signed legislation that puts more than $200 million toward the project. Now, some companies and organizations are getting the ball rolling on new programs.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced its plans to build a large-scale research participant group for the project, tapping Verily, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, and Nashville's Vanderbilt University to lead the charge. The agency's pilot program is shooting to enroll 79,000 volunteers by the end of this year.

Microsoft is also getting in on the action. The company by the end of 2016 is planning to host large, open genomics data sets on its Microsoft Azure cloud platform. The datasets, including 1000 genomes, could benefit researchers and other healthcare providers who are forging ahead with precision medicine initiatives, Microsoft said in a statement.

- read Intel's statement
- get more from The White House

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