The future of medicine: Big Data meets genome sequencing

Looks like in the future, you will not be going to the doctor and be diagnosed based on your symptoms. Think about it; how much do you trust a treatment that comes from the perception of a human who further analyzed a couple of blood samples? Maybe the doctor that day missed some crucial data… Therefore, a more technological approach is needed.


There are some crucial technological advancements in the recent years that will help the transition to a personalized medicine. Big Data is nowadays everywhere in our society. It helps analyze data and look for different patterns within that specific data.  As well, the price of sequencing a genome is getting lower and lower, to the point that soon everyone will have a sequenced genome. Combination of big data and genomes is a powerful tool.


If you have a certain protein that has been mutated, that information will be contained in your genome. A problem however, is that a lot of proteins do not have an associated function or have been related to diseases. Here is where Big Data comes into play; by comparing many different genomes with the same disease, common variations within that genome could lead to the ultimate discovery of the disease cause.


This idea is already taking place; IBM Watson has partnered with Ilumina to interpret the genomic data from different tumor samples.

Besides, Ilumina has hired Garret Hampton, one of the top experts on clinical genomics.

It is therefore a fact that a new kind of medicine is emerging; Genomic Big Data.

1 Comment

  1. Very interesting, but I am not very sure about the reaction of the medical doctors (it seems many of them will be future unemployed).
    I think it is a very near future

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