The American Heart Association (AHA) announced a milestone in its strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS)—the launch of a global, secure cloud-based data marketplace that will help revolutionize how researchers and clinicians come together as one community to access and analyze rich and diverse data to accelerate solutions for cardiovascular diseases—the No. 1 cause of death worldwide.
The AHA Precision Medicine Platform will include a vast array of curated rich datasets that are centrally stored, easily searched and accessible and managed on the AWS cloud. This platform enables researchers and clinicians to aggregate and analyze a rich breadth and depth of data including longitudinal cohorts, proteomic, genomic and gene expression data using a precision medicine approach to uncover critical cardiovascular disease insights that translate into medical innovations that positively impact millions of lives.
The Possibility of Precision Cardiovascular Medicine
Precision cardiovascular medicine takes into account an individual’s biology, environment and lifestyle and is driven by advanced methods of aggregating, integrating and analyzing patient data to develop prevention and treatment strategies for individuals. Derived from the fullest possible range of biological and environmental factors relevant to a patient’s cardiovascular health, the Platform will integrate data from clinical trials, long-running epidemiologic studies, clinical registries, and real-time health data acquired through wearable devices and technology.
“The Platform will harness the power of big data to revolutionize the way cardiovascular research is performed and speed the promise of precision cardiovascular medicine,” said AHA CEO Nancy Brown. “The AHA remains steadfast in its commitment to eliminate the tragic global burden cardiovascular disease places on individuals, families, healthcare systems, and entire nations by mapping scientific discovery to the dramatic advances in biomedical research and technology innovation.”
The Power of Cloud Technology
AWS, a leading cloud services provider, provides the computational and analytic power needed to manage an information ecosystem of this magnitude. Cloud computing is already accelerating scientific progress throughout academia, industry and government, helping to forge new models of open science, collaboration and discovery. Through a cloud-based infrastructure, the Precision Medicine Platform will advance our community of researchers together to find solutions for patients.
“AHA and AWS bring unique strengths and complementary expertise to the Precision Medicine Data Marketplace with AWS offering the immense computational and analytical power necessary to manage the information ecosystem of this magnitude,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president Worldwide Public Sector, AWS, Inc. “We are very excited to work with AHA to quickly bring resources and advancements to patients more rapidly and to make these scientific discoveries a reality.”
The Promise of Precision Medicine Platform
Several initial healthcare and research organizations are leading the way as data contributors to the AHA Precision Medicine Platform including: AstraZeneca, Cedars Sinai Heart Institute, Dallas Heart Study, the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, the International Stroke Genetics Consortium, and Stanford Cardiovascular Institute.
“AstraZeneca is pleased to work with the AHA, AWS and other groups on this important initiative. By contributing de-identified data from our clinical trials and bringing together—under one umbrella—the data, and the tools, this initiative will help scientists and clinicians advance our understanding of cardiovascular disease in a cost and time effective manner, to ultimately bring benefits to patients,” said Fouzia Laghrissi Thode, V.P. GPPS Therapy Area, Cardiovascular & Metabolism, AstraZeneca.
“This platform will facilitate important collaborations that should help uncover new causal factors and targets for therapy.” said James de Lemos, M.D. of the Dallas Heart Study.
“By making large numbers of data sources more easily available to researchers, this collaboration will accelerate the movement toward greater openness in clinical research,” said DCRI Executive Director Eric Peterson, MD, MPH. “It will also help speed the development of scientific discoveries into usable treatments for the patients who need them most.”
“These findings could help stratify individuals, groups, and entire populations according to their risk of cardiovascular disease and likely response to treatments,” said Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute. Driving Precision Medicine through Data Grants
To spark collaboration, AHA is providing access to the Precision Medicine Platform through a series of grants. AWS is providing grant recipients free access to computational cloud storage and analysis as part of the AHA data grant portfolio. Grant submissions are in progress and the first round of recipients will be announced in April 2017.