Intel leverages big data, IoT to cure cancer with secure data cloud

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Data is a thing of power and beauty, Intel announced in a video introducing its session on the Internet of Things and Big Data Insights, stating that data is an abundant resource that is underutilized. Data that can be securely shared can even lead to the cure for diseases like cancer and more personalized medical treatments.

In its session on big data analytics, Intel demonstrated how industrial IoT devices can be connected and given RealSense cameras to sense, see and understand the world around them as they collect data. Scientist must process and analyze that data, and Intel announced a few new tools to help data scientists make sense of the data.

Bryant called data “the next big tech disrupter,” and data, combined with the sensing IoT tech that collects data, can transform even the world’s oldest industry: agriculture.
Human applications

Big data can be used to help solve real-world problems, like cancer research in healthcare. Intel’s goal is to be able to map the human genome in one day to deliver precision healthcare that’s personalized towards the patient by 2020.

Why is precision healthcare important? The primary reason is that treatment can be performed outside of the hospital. Intel says that the US spends $10 billion a year to fight infections contracted while patients are in the hospital. With IoT devices and remote medicine, patients can seek in-home care and therapy, rather than risk infection in hospitals, in many instances.

In an Oregon trial, Intel provided 450 people with a connected blood pressure cuff and the Basis Peak smartwatch. These devices provided 300 million data points per night, which is more data than what can be collected in a doctor’s office visit.

In helping to analyze and share this data in a safe and secure way, Intel announced its new Collaborative Cancer Cloud. Intel says that even when we have abundant collected data, the information is trapped because researchers are worried about the security implications of sharing. The benefit of sharing is that it can help speed up research, provide more rapid diagnosis and treatment and help researchers develop cures at a faster rate.

To help researchers, the Collaborative Cancer Cloud will create a secure virtual machine for data to be shared. Once the information is shared, data is then wiped, said Diane Bryant, Intel Vice President and General Manager of Intel Data Center Group.

How data transforms farming

Data can be used to help farmers understand more about their crops and fields, and this leads to the elimination of waste and an increase in production, Intel partner Farm Logs told the audience at IDF 2015.

Farm Logs demonstrated a new sensor hub called Flow, which can connect to farming machines and harvest data from sensor networks. Once the data is collected, processed and analyzed, farmers can make better decisions about fertilizing, pest control, crop disease and more, said Doug Davis, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel Internet of Things Group.

Can you add senses to industrial equipment?

Personalization is a big theme that was introduced by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich during his IDF keynote on Tuesday morning, and personalization results in being able to understand the world around you through seeing, hearing and touching.

Can these inputs help create personalized farming equipment? Davis tasked a group of Intel interns with the challenge of bringing the company’s RealSense 3D cameras to off-the-shelf robotics. Similar to Krzanich’s control of robotic spiders during his keynote, interns used a computer with a RealSense camera on stage to control manufacturing robot arms during the demo. Set to the tunes of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” interns used arm gestures to control the robot arms to dance.

While the demonstration may not necessarily apply to agriculture, I can see the potential use of Intel’s RealSense technology for remote robotic surgeries in the future.

Making sense of the data

Commercial IoT requires a platform that helps users make sense of the collected data with a scalable and flexible platform with tools, resources and technical support.

Bryant claims that data is “the currency of the digital world,” but that it takes more than just data. Once data is collected, how do you make sense of the data?

Understanding the data is changing the conversation from data to algorithms, and this shift resulted in Harvard Business Review naming data scientist the top job of the 21st century.

Intel made two announcements to help scientists understand the data. The first is Streaming SQL to enable real-time intelligence, and the second is Discovery Peak, an open-source, standards-based platform that Bryant claims will be easy to use, highly customizable to support your applications and innovative.

Combined with fast memory from Intel’s 3D XPoint-based Optane SSDs, data scientists will be able to store more data and have quicker access to data. Optane claims to be the first non-volatile memory that can be used as main system memory.

Intel’s Cancer Cloud uses big data to fight disease

By Thomas McMullan @thomas_mac 19 Aug 2015 — Alphr

Big Data tends to be uttered in the same breath as business – a lot of air is spent by experts talking about the commercial benefits of leveraging customer data. But at IDF in San Francisco Intel has given a glimpse of how large-scale data analysis could make a real change to people’s health, potentially revolutionising the treatment of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

During a session on the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, Intel revealed a new collaboration with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) on a way to bring greater precision to the treatment of cancer.

The platform, called the Collaborative Cancer Cloud, will allow hospitals and research institutions to share important patient data to bring about precise individual healthcare.
Intel distributed care

At the heart of the new system is genomic data, which involves the sequence of an individual’s DNA. Genomic data is key for creating precise treatments for cancer, but the length of time it takes to order and communicate this data is insufficient. Universities do not currently have the computing resources or infrastructure to efficiently share genomic and clinical data. The Collaborative Cancer Cloud aims to solve this problem by allowing institutions to analyse data in a distributed way.

Genomic analysis in just one day by 2020

During the presentation Eric Dishman, Intel’s general manager of of Health & Life Sciences, was brought on stage to speak about the platform. Dishman is a cancer survivor, and spoke about how genomic analysis led to him being cured of cancer after 23 years of suffering from the disease.

“It took 23 years to develop a personalised treatment for Eric,” said Brian Druker, a leading researcher at Oregon Health & Science University. “We should be able to do this in one day.”

Intel’s aim is to be able to make the treatment Dishman received possible in as little as one day by 2020. A key step in this direction is creating a way for researchers to communicate the vast quantities of genomic, imaging, and clinical data, initially between OHSU and universities in Boston and Texas.

Another important benefit to the Collaborative Cancer Cloud is the system’s alleged security. Diane Bryant, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Centre Group said during the presentation that after information is shared by researchers it is wiped from the platform, preventing confidential information from being misused.

Open source platform

Bryant went on to announce that the Collaborative Cancer Cloud will be open source, which is intended to allow analytics across a broader set of data and lead to greater insights for personalised healthcare.

“Each year millions of people all over the world, including more than 1 million patients in the United States, learn that they have a cancer diagnosis,” said Eric Dishman in a statement. “Instead of going through painful chemotherapy that can kill healthy cells along with cancerous cells, what would happen if those patients were able to be treated as individuals based on their specific genome sequencing, and a precision treatment plan could be tailored specifically for their disease? And what if it could happen within 24 hours?”

The implications for this platform extend beyond cancer treatment, towards any disease that encompasses genomics. This means it could be also be used to help treat Alzheimer’s, autism and diabetes. This is enormous, and is a hugely encouraging indication of the positive societal applications of big data.







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