I recently had a chance to speak to Marten Neubauer of the Healthcare and Life Science unit at Dell’s Global SAP Center of Excellence.
Q: Can you explain why Dell is interested in personalized medicine?
A: Dell has a long track-record serving the health industry with more than 13,000 of its employees devoted to the vertical. And there is this very personal engagement of Michael and Susan Dell. Their non-profit Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has funded children’s health-related causes worldwide and they have supported initiatives such as the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. The Children’s Blood & Cancer Center (CBCC) is part of that institute and is the largest pediatric hematology/oncology provider in Central Texas.
So, Dell realized that technologies like big data and high performance computing hold a great promise for emerging areas such as genomics and can make a real impact on patient outcomes. One example is that Dell has been able to partner with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Intel to help doctors analyze and store massive amounts of genetic data more quickly than ever before.
Q: Can you describe what Dell and SAP are doing jointly in personalized medicine?
A: To cure cancer, the analysis of genomes and genome variants is just one piece of the puzzle. The next important step is to interpret all the patient-related information. We became aware of SAP’s activities in personalized medicine very early. SAP Medical Research Insights and SAP Foundation for Health are twopowerful tools to help medical researchers to obtain deep insights into all types of data. To tell the truth, it was a no-brainer for our companies to join forces. Consequently, we are currently partnering with SAP and Intel to investigate how to optimize the supporting infrastructure. Jointly we are designing a “reference architecture“ for these two products, that will deliver a blueprint for a software/hardware combination. You could say that it is like a best practice deployment, that we also intend to use for performance benchmarking.
Q: How do customers benefit from this?
A: Time is a critical factor for cancer patients! As with TGen our aim is to provide an optimized and standardized implementation that unites highly complex data sets, and to help define how to do this most efficiently. This will help our customers to start using these solutions more quickly, and to get the most out of their functionality. Our joint aim is that in the end this will translate into faster results for patients. The system is not live yet, but we are progressing rapidly with a dedicated taskforce encompassing specialists from the three companies (Dell, SAP and Intel). So stay tuned!
Q: Where can customers find more information?
A: Dell, Intel and SAP will each have booths at HIMSS (Las Vegas, February 29- March 4, 2016), so that is one way to learn more on site from all three partners at that very exciting event. In addition, anyone interested in this system can contact the Global SAP Center of Excellence at Dell, we are happy to provide more details and live demos. Or reach out to the two of us directly – but that goes without saying.