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Biomedical Research and Big Data

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are investing $32 million this year to increase the collection, categorization, and utilization of biomedical research data. Due to the increased collection of big data in the healthcare field, there is a need for the organization and processing of this data. Utilizing this information, scientists and healthcare professionals can improve responses to disease, treatments, and related medical concerns.


According to the Big Data to Knowledge initiative, new software, tools, and training programs will be developed and implemented in the coming years. Overall investment costs could reach $656 million by 2020. The intended plans for the invested funds include:


- 11 Centers of Excellence to be utilized for computing big data


- A Perturbation Data Coordination and Integration center which tests the effects of disruptions from disease and medications on cells and tissues.


- A Data Discovery Index Coordination Consortium which will create centralized access and collaboration by healthcare professionals for discovery, access, and citation of related biomedical research.


- Training and workforce development funding to supply future efforts qualified staffing specializing in data science and the mining of big data.


The Big Data to Knowledge initiative will focus on development in the United States, but also will connect data and researchers across the globe. Current global initiatives include the inclusion of the United Kingdom, European Union, and Australia. Implementation of this initiative should enhance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of medical conditions through data mining and collaboration.

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