Patterson aims to apply big data tools under development at Berkeley to the challenge of analyzing reams of genomic data on cancer.
The tools include Spark (above), a programming language for computer clusters that provides functions similar to Map Reduce used by Google’s search engine. The Berkeley Data Analytics System (below) is an open source engine in development based on Spark.
@iniewski & @rick.merritt: the security issue is paramount to the adoption and acceptance of apps from IoT. In the healthcare arena, there are various regulations in US (like HIPAA, etc.) protecting the privacy of patient data.
Kris is partially right in saying that real privacy is so much a last century concept -one has to accept that up to some extent, service providers (mobiles phones for example) are constantly harvesting to target marketing. These types of 'private' data are several steps removed from personal medical records whose sanctity should be fully preserved and protected.
Some willingly give up personal data -most Facebook users fall into this category. I shudder to think of Facebook accessing my personal-area-network generated data from medical monitoring!
I had this insight that privacy was a fleeting phenomenon that developed in the mid-19th century when lots of people moved into cities, and lasted until recently. Before urbanization, people lived in small communities where everybody knew everything about everybody else--and Facebook is bringing it back :)
The title of the article mentions cancer (although the body of the article seems to be computer hardware oriented). I believe that "cures" for cancer are often going to be very dependent upon individual genetic differences. Understanding which treatments work for which genetic make-ups is essential. Certainly there will need to be safeguards to prevent data mining to identify individuals in the database - but our future health depends upon such "big data" resources.
Even though the actual treatment will be individually tailored, but the important thing is we'll know exactly what needs to be done to make it go away.
Personally I have my doubts we'll see anything from this anytime soon. Overall the War on Cancer has been a dismal failure, 40 years on and little practical result to show for it. There is one bright spot that I've seen, there has been a lot of success with HIV based immune therapies.
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