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Personalized Health Project Integrates E-Medical Data, DNA

The Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaboration platform will be used to develop treatments tailored to patients' genetic and other health-related profile.
The genetic information from participating patients will come from DNA samples they'll provide.

"Patients will have their sputum DNA extracted and analyzed at Coriell," said Dr. Clay Marsh, director of the Center for Personalized Health Care at Ohio State University, which is looking to enroll within the next three months 1,000 to 2,000 study participants for the project.

"Each patient participating will have their own secure portal access site to their own information," he said in an e-mail interview with InformationWeek.

"The patients will be able to see their own information, as will their physicians, if they give us consent to include their doctors. Otherwise, they will have access without their physicians," he said. Ohio State University officials and researchers are working with Coriell to clarify the details on how EMR data will be moved to Coriell for the project, he said.

"We will protect the identity of all subjects, and with our institutional review board approval, would need clear, informed consent from each individual before moving any EMR data from OSU to Coriell," he said. "In this way, the participants will be in control of the flow and protection of their EMR data related to the study."

For the project, risk reporting algorithms that are developed by the CPMC geneticists are transformed and imported into a genetic variant database, explained Keller.

"This database contains relative risk values for each single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that is on the risk report as well as data from existing federated databases," she said.

A SNP is a change or variation in a DNA sequence.

"In some people, these changes vary from the population at large and segregates to a group of people that have disease or risk of disease at a higher frequency than people without disease or without risk," explained Marsh.

"The DNA chips we are using will identify these specific changes, of which a highly specific group will appear on the Web portal that the subjects have access," he said.

"By using standard Web-based technologies, such as XML and SOAP, the main data repository is annotated and supplemented with external data sources, furthering the value of the knowledge repository," said Keller.

Data storage for the CPMC project is being handled by a Hewlett-Packard EVA8100 storage array network, which offers a flexible, open, standards-based storage infrastructure enabling an adaptive infrastructure, she said.

"We are committed to creating the future of medicine to improve people's lives through personalized medicine," Marsh said in a statement. "Partnerships like this one will allow us and our community to experience the future of medicine today."


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on e-health and the federal stimulus package. Download the report here (registration required).