Cloudera participating in President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative

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Precision medicine is medicine targeted to the precise needs of any given patient. It is a shift away from bulk treatments – the same regimen for all patients with a given disease or injury – to personalized, often genetically tailored, regimens for each individual patient. President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative is driving much of the effort. The initiative is in part an effort to increase collaboration between precision medicine researchers, academia, government and industry leaders. Now Cloudera has joined that effort.

Specifically, Cloudera says it is providing training and software, and that it will collaborate with academic and government research institutions "doing non-commercial work" on the use of data and analytics for healthcare. Collaboration only goes so far as apparently the company is not yet keen on working with competitors.  

"I'm personally so excited about PMI because I think it is one of the most obvious ways in which big data can make life better for real people," said Mike Olson, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Cloudera, in the announcement.

"Understanding disease onset and progress can give us new clues on how to fight it. Catching the tidal wave of data coming from genomics and proteomics, and studying whole organisms instead of just anatomy, creates whole new approaches to prevention and treatment."

In support of the PMI, Cloudera will provide on-demand training to 1,000 precision medicine researchers over the next three years. It will also provide free subscriptions to Cloudera's platform for storage, processing, and analytics for 50 institutions. Further, the company says it will work with government, industry, and academia to make data sharing among precision medicine collaborators easier and more secure.

Unfortunately, sister publication FierceHealthIT reports that precision medicine is not a key goal for hospitals and health systems. That means the President's PMI and its supporters like Cloudera may be facing an uphill climb on adoption.  

However, the problem in adoption isn't due to active resistance. It's more likely due to ongoing problems with electronic medical records and patient outcome requirements. A massive health care overhaul is happening now, and many hospitals and health care systems aren't coping with it well.

For more:
- see the press release

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