HPC Impact Showcase:
Beating Bugs with Big Data: Harnessing HPC to Realize the Potential of Genomics in the NHS in Wales
HPC Impact Showcase
TimeThursday, 21 November 20191:30pm - 2pm
DescriptionThe ability to read the genome of an infectious agent, essentially the blueprint that describes how that organism is 'built' including how it causes disease, is transformative for healthcare. Using genomics data, one can predict the correct drug to use to treat an individual, identify vaccine targets, or track the spread of an epidemic across the globe.
In 2017 the Welsh Government launched the Genomics for Precision Medicine Strategy, including over £8M of investment to date to develop new clinical genomics services to enable better, more personalised and more precise medical care.
Because genome sequence data is digital, rich and complex, substantial computational resources are required to extract clinically actionable information. Furthermore, within a healthcare setting, diagnostic tests have to be standardised and repeatable, as well as generating results in a short space of time to ensure maximum patient benefit. Bringing together the NHS in Wales, Cardiff University and partners in Dell, a combination of HPC, on-premise Cloud and containerisation have been deployed to power national clinical genomics services for the 3 million people covered by the Welsh NHS.
Here we describe how our computational environment is delivering the first national genomics-based service for HIV drug resistance testing in the UK, supporting outbreak response, and undertaking seasonal influenza surveillance that in the 2018/19 flu season saw Wales contributing surveillance data to global surveillance efforts faster than anyone else in the world.
Genomics is proving to be revolutionary for healthcare, and in Wales that revolution is founded upon our HPC.