Supercomputing: The Next Frontier for Health Analytics
Let's look at some of today's biggest health challenges and see how supercomputing is helping data professionals analyze them.
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When most people think about how to analyze large amounts of health-related information, the phrase “Big Data” is what immediately comes to mind. Millions of dollars in resources and thousands of analytics professionals are collectively working towards finding correlations and medical breakthroughs from making the most of your data.
But behind the deluge of data comes with a need for computing. So, while many people are fascinated with the potential of data analytics, there are key advancements in supercomputing that are closer to the average analytics professional than many may believe. As an example, let’s look at some of today’s biggest health challenges — leukemia, lung cancer, and neurological disorders, and diagnosis of those diseases.
The key to understanding them and getting them under control may lie in the huge amounts of data that has already been collected on them. The task to make sense of this “Big Data” becomes easier when clever minds have access to the right tools and technologies: High-Performance Computing (HPC) and supercomputers.
Here is how supercomputing developments already led and will further on lead to next great health analytics discovery.
Supercomputers can analyze large volumes of information in milliseconds, thus providing the foundation for the option/elaboration of diversified diagnoses plus optimized treatments matching the many different shades of etiopathologies. Supercomputing is also working to improve research across a multitude of research areas to power the medical breakthroughs of tomorrow.
With the widespread use of supercomputers that are able to access infinite sources of data to any large institution or even small practices, analytics professionals create a level of standardization where the majority of patients are receiving the same path of meaningful care.
Supercomputers Making Medical Breakthroughs
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (who, by the way, runs SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on their supercomputer) works on many healthcare related projects. As an example, they run a project around Dengue fever.
Piz Daint, the Swiss supercomputer, ranked #8 in the top 500 list and the fastest in Europe. It runs Cray Linux Environment (which is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) and also runs some healthcare projects, revolving around topics such as how bacteria infect wounds or why some heart failures cannot be eliminated with a pacemaker.
How Supercomputing Is Impacting Health
Providing the foundation for the development of high-resolution instruments is one way. They also cut costs of research by shortening the DNA sequencing and indexing time so researchers can advance the fight against cancer and other difficult problems much quicker. With supercomputers, you can quickly calculate how highly contagious diseases and viruses such as the latest Ebola epidemic will spread out and take respective actions.
Additionally, thanks to the supercomputing capabilities, there is a “shift” from an analog diagnosis and healthcare provider-centric systems to much more diverse and innovative patient-specific diagnosis systems. This is definitely only possible because the high volume data that has been collected on diseases over the years that can be analyzed with HPC technologies much more easily and quickly than ever before.
Be prepared — there is more to come!
Published at DZone with permission of Meike Chabowski, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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