December 16, 2016
Vancouver, BC – Members of the International Canadian Data Sharing initiative (Can-SHARE) are pleased to announce the recipients of funding under their “New Initiatives” program.
Can-SHARE is a pan-Canadian research initiative whose goal under the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, is to enable innovation in the use of genomic data for health care for patients in Canada and worldwide. Projects under the initiative create policies and tools for Canadian clinicians and researchers to share genomic and clinical datasets across Canada and with international partners.
DNA sequencing is revolutionizing health care and has made the accumulation of vast amounts of genomic data affordable. These large and complex datasets – often called “Big Data” – provide an essential platform that inform the provision of health care and help patients in Canada and around the world. This can only happen if data is accessible and widely shared in a manner that fully protects patient privacy. The goal of the “New Initiatives” program is to improve human health care by promoting new ideas and solutions for responsible data sharing in genomics.
The projects announced today include:
Genomic Epidemiology Entity Mart (GE2M) – Data Harmonization Made Easier
Led by Dr. William Hsiao, this Genome BC funded project aims to improve the harmonization and sharing of genomics information with other contextual and clinical health data so as to efficiently assess and manage risks to human health. The Genomic Epidemiology Entity Mart will be an intuitive technology platform that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical and public health actions, starting with infectious disease surveillance and disease outbreak control.
User-centric genomics data exchange and aggregation with BlockChain technologies
Dr. Bruce McManus will lead the development of a platform that aims to remove siloes in data sharing between health researchers, caregivers and patients while giving the latter more control over their personal information. Using BlockChain, the peer-to-peer technology behind Bitcoin, the project will work toward proving the concept that this technology can be applied to health and genomics data and be scalable for the future. Ultimately, the project will seek to prove that decentralizing data storage and applying peer-to-peer technology can remove siloes and allow for integrating diverse multidimensional data where data analyses can be performed to generate useful knowledge bases that could spark new discoveries in personalized medicine. Genome British Columbia and TELUS Health are jointly funding this project.
Beacons for Genomic and Clinical Data Discovery
Dr. Marc Fiume will lead the development of a technology based solution aimed at accelerating the sharing of valuable, sensitive genotype and associated information through interoperable global standards. The project will work toward delivering a web accessible service that can be queried for information about a specific alternative form of a gene enabling health care and lab professionals to pool and share knowledge, thus allowing for a wider range of evidence to be considered during variant interpretation. TELUS Health is funding this project.
Lead by the Public Population Project in Genomics and Society (P3G), Can-SHARE builds on the core mission of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health to catalyze projects that promote, drive, and demonstrate the value of responsible data sharing by convening stakeholders and creating harmonized approaches. Can-SHARE’s leadership in promoting data sharing across jurisdictions will ensure that Canadians benefit from health-care innovation for decades to come.
About Genome British Columbia:
Genome British Columbia leads genomics innovation on Canada’s West Coast and facilitates the integration of genomics into society. A recognized catalyst for government and industry, Genome BC invests in research, entrepreneurship and commercialization in life sciences to address challenges in key sectors such as health, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, agri-food, energy, mining and environment. Genome BC partners with many national and international public and private funding organizations to drive BC’s bioeconomy. www.genomebc.ca
About TELUS Health:
TELUS Health is a leader in telehomecare, electronic medical and health records, consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management. TELUS Health solutions give health authorities, providers, physicians, patients and consumers the power to turn information into better health outcomes. For more information about TELUS Health, please visit www.telushealth.com.