Management and analysis of genome data support research in diseases

Management and analysis of genome data support research in diseases

Data on the Finnish genome suitable for research use is available in different databases and data reserves around the world. Finland's national goal is to store all data produced on the Finns in Finland to allow analysts to combine it with other health data. Consequently, we need to create a service for managing Finnish genome data that operates across organisational boundaries while having a good level of information security and being well coordinated.

While Finland is relatively well placed to become an international actor in the management of genome data, more expertise and specialisation in analysing big data is needed. In practice, what is required is a framework for storing the Finnish genome and, initially, a national reference database containing the data of tens of thousands of people. This would be useful for diagnostics and, for example, improving drug treatments, as the patient's genome data can already today help to select suitable and safe medication. Tommi Nyrönen, Director of ELIXIR Finland continues:

Although we may not be able to interpret the information yet, we can already extract all of the raw genome data. Interpretation efforts will continue for decades and employ hundreds of people who haven't even been trained yet.

In the hands of skilled analysts, organised data will help to make breakthroughs in such areas as cancer research. Early detection of cancer significantly improves the prognosis. This type of research is also possible in Finland if we can combine health and genome data.

ELIXIR Finland, an organisation hosted by CSC, has started building the secure infrastructure needed for managing and storing genome data.

Benefits for the customer

-    data integration improves the efficiency of medical research
-    improving patients' drug treatment and prognosis
-    preserving the Finnish genome

Further information