Philips and SURFsara, a Dutch high-performance supercomputing and data infrastructure provider for education and academic research, are collaborating to connect the Philips HealthSuite cloud platform to the SURFsara National Research Infrastructure to provide new cloud-based research services.

The services will specifically support research into precision medicine and population health. For example, new targeted therapies for colon, prostate or breast cancer that require bringing together large amounts of data from medical scanners, tissue biopsies, lab results and genomics over long periods of time to generate comprehensive views on a patient’s individual situation.

Studies into population health need to combine large health data sets of large groups of people. These are analysed to find even the smallest correlations and patterns that could eventually lead to new approaches to enable early intervention and improved treatments.

“Today, hospitals can already retrieve massive amounts of data from multiple sources and various disciplines and through research obtain new clinical insights,” said CEO Connected Care and Health Informatics at Philips, Jeroen Tas.

“But even greater value lies in combining, normalising and analysing the current islands of data. Our integrated services aim to combine data on all levels and connect health systems, clinical expertise and research programmes in a secure and compliant manner. Through networked healthcare research we want to facilitate collaboration on the next generation of breakthroughs in care delivery,” continued Tas.

Via a portal for online collaboration, data scientists and clinical researchers will have secure high-speed access to big data; supercomputing facilities; combined Philips and SURFsara analytics tools; machine learning technology; and IT services. It aims to enable scientists and researchers to seamlessly move, share, combine and re-use large sets of data available across academic medical institutions and research programmes and analyse them in a compliant manner.

“SURFsara supports the national life science research with ICT experience and has a mission to connect business to research,” said SURFsara CEO and Professor of Business Analytics and Computer Science at the University of Amsterdam, Anwar Osseyran.

“We will collaborate with Philips to enhance the cloud-base services of Philips and use these resources to make life science data available for science in the Netherlands and beyond,” continued Osseyran.

The new translational research environment envisaged initially aims to facilitate academic medical institutions and research programmes, and will later expand to support healthcare centres of excellence and life sciences scholars to analyse the vast amounts of data generated by disciplines such as genomics, digital pathology and imaging.

The big data research services will be open to collaborative research initiatives throughout Europe and beyond, reflecting the global nature of modern-day connected healthcare research in a compliant manner.

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