The Microsoft Azure UK Cloud Region It will host data from more than five million participants in the UK’s largest ever health research programme.
Called Our Future Health, the initiative has input from the public sector – including the NHS – as well as private enterprise and charities who are pooling their data and resources to develop new ways of preventing, detecting and treating illnesses including dementia, cancer, diabetes. , heart disease and arthritis.
“Our future has chosen health Microsoft’s Azure The cloud platform enables data collected from volunteers to be processed for research purposes and to underpin websites and apps used by medical teams,” Microsoft said in a statement.
Volunteers in the program will all donate a small sample of blood, so that their DNA data can be analyzed, and will be expected to fill out questionnaires about their health and lifestyle to inform the work our future health will do.
Program data hosted on Azure will reside in a Trusted Research Environment (TRE) developed by US-based DNAnexus, which specializes in the provision of cloud-based analysis and management platforms for DNA sequence data.
“As with any project of this nature, Microsoft and DNNexus will not have access to any data from the program,” the Microsoft statement added. “Information will be securely identified, encrypted, stored and handled in the UK in compliance with all applicable data protection laws and UK government policies for data protection.”
The TRE is set up to allow researchers to access and analyze DNA sequence data using bioinformatics and biomedical research tools to uncover ways to detect life-shortening illnesses earlier and, in turn, inform the development of new screening, prevention and treatment. treatment program.
It is also hoped that these data can pave the way for better targeted, more personalized treatment programs to delay the onset of certain diseases, as well as make it possible to predict with a high level of accuracy who may be at high risk of developing these illnesses. .
Our Future Health CEO Andrew Roddam said Microsoft Azure will be an “integral part” of the program’s work.
“[It will be] underpinning the many critical systems needed to run the program, and ultimately help create one of the most detailed pictures of human health,” he said.
Jacob West, managing director of healthcare and life sciences at Microsoft UK, said, “Our future is health Increasing number of health care oriented institutions which are entrusting their data to the Azure public cloud.
“Healthcare teams around the world trust Microsoft Cloud to deliver better experiences, insights and care while managing and protecting health and personal data,” he said.
“Microsoft is proud to support our future health work, which will provide research teams with a unique perspective on some of the most common and life-changing diseases facing humans.”