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Google to Support Stanford Clinical Genomics Service

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Stanford University School of Medicine said today that it has tapped Google Genomics to provide the underlying informatics infrastructure for its forthcoming clinical genomics service.

Under the terms of the agreement, Stanford and Google Genomics will use technologies and methods that power resources like Google Search and Google Maps to build cloud-based applications for securely storing, processing, exploring, and sharing genomic and other healthcare datasets.

This infrastructure will support Stanford's clinical genomic service, which will provide genome sequencing services for patients at Stanford Healthcare and Stanford Children's Health. Data from individual patients will be uploaded to the Google cloud platform where it will be added to databases containing information from other Stanford patients. Patient information in the system will be encrypted, both in transit and on servers, and kept on servers in the United States in compliance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Stanford said.

Euan Ashley, a Stanford associate professor of medicine and genetics, said in a statement that the university expects to generate thousands of genome sequences through the service over time. Furthermore, added Stanford School of Medicine Dean Lloyd Minor, working with Google will help Stanford researchers meet the challenge of integrating this data in real-time and putting it to work for patients.

"I'm excited because this agreement brings together expertise in three areas: data science, life science research and clinical care," Sam Schillace, Google's vice president of engineering for industry solutions, said in a statement. "The next decade of improvements in understanding and advancing health care are going to come from leaders in those three areas working together to build the next generation of platforms, tools and data."

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.